It was my honour and pleasure to serve as an expert advisor for Startup Canada‘s #startupchats sponsored by Canada Post (@CanadaPostCorp) on April 26, 2019 to discuss “What You Need to Know About Your Shoppers: The Latest Stats on Canadian e-Commerce“. Here are my answers the questions posed:
- eCommerce accounts for a growing percentage of retail sales in North America. What insight does Canada Post have into e-commerce and what is to be gained by selling online?
Canada Post offers a plethora of support for Canadian businesses that want to do #ecommerce… https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/business/ecommerce.page?
- What kind of things are Canadians spending their dollars on online?
According to a 2019 Canada Post report, Canadian buyers buy from 4-5 categories on average, the largest ones being computers & electronics, apparel, books, beauty products & footwear
- What does the typical Canadian e-commerce shopper look like?
An infographic on Canada Post’s Canadian e-commerce benchmark report Canadian e-commerce benchmark report paints a great picture of the typical Canadian ecommerce shopper who has an average household income of $92,656
- What’s the growth in Canadian e-commerce look like and who’s driving it?
Total Canadian eCommerce revenue across all product categories is 20.16 billion USD, and is expected to grow to 28.7 billion USD by 2021. Leading categories are fashion, electronics and media.
- What does the future look like? Do you see this growth trend continuing or slowing down?
eCommerce is in its infancy and can only grow in the coming years as we gain trust and tap into Global markets.
- As a Canadian retailer, how do you compete with international retailers in countries like the U.S. or China?
It’s never been easier for Canadian retailers to compete with international retailers in US and China. We have a great reputation and the same rules apply. Be visible & credible and make it quick & easy for people to buy.
- How are businesses gathering data on their shoppers and how are they using it to make informed decisions?
Businesses are gathering data on their shoppers and leveraging technology like AI, VR and big data to better understand and cater to their customers’ unique needs.
- What are some technology trends shoppers are using that merchants should try and keep up with?
Tech-savvy Canadian shoppers are buying more via voice & social media, checking reviews and showrooming with QR codes before they buy & many becoming serial returners e.g. ordering multiple products with the intention of returning some.
- What do eShoppers expect in terms of the cost of returns? Do they expect free returns? Or are they open to paying for them?
eShoppers don’t like paying to return items but days of free returns are coming to an end due to rising costs of returns. Amazon introduced a lifetime ban on serial returners in 2018 & many retailers no longer take returns in stores.
- Memberships and subscriptions are popular models among startups. What benefits do they offer to businesses and customers?
Businesses are following the lead of @Netflix @Amazon @Spotify & introducing win/win memberships & subscriptions models. Consumers love the added value, convenience & personalization & businesses benefit with predictable residual revenue streams.
- Do you have any final tips on what eShoppers want from a retailer?
We know lots about what eShoppers want from a retailer and I’ve captured much of it here…