Canadian online retailers have improved but online shoppers indicate they have a long way to go, a survey by Forrester Research Inc. has concluded. The survey was conducted in partnership with Canada Post to understand why 25% of Canadian online consumers are still shopping internationally. Forrester Research surveyed 1,103 Canadian online shoppers for their State of Canadian Online Retail 2013 report.
The top four reasons online consumers gave for avoiding Canadian e-retailers were:
- Shipping costs – 68%
- Product selection – 80% say they’ve shopped internationally because they couldn’t find the product in Canada
- Price – 62% (81% of Canadian online shoppers do their price comparing with search engines, and 56% use Amazon to check out prices.
- Multi-channel and cross-channel integration – Offline store, e-commerce, mobile, etc.
When it comes to cross-channel functionality and customer service, consumers want it all:
- 65% want the option of returning online purchases to offline stores.
- 61% want to view offline inventory online.
- 56% want matching online and offline store prices.
- 41% want the option to pick up their online purchases at an offline store.
- 39% want stores to ship items that are currently out of stock to their homes for free.
The current statistics are frightening, and they’re expected to get worse as major US retailers (such as Target, J. Crew and Nordstrom) invade this side of the border.
The State of Canadian Online Retail 2013 report summary states, “On paper, the Canadian online retail market has been going through a renaissance, fueled by a proliferation of localized stores and cross-border shipping options from US and international brands. Furthermore, Canadian brands, reacting to the growing number of incursions by foreign competitors, have doubled down on their own eCommerce strategies. Despite all this progress, the unfortunate truth is that online shopping in Canada still falls far short of consumer expectations.”
What’s Really Going On?
Studies like this are enlightening, but they always leave me with more questions than answers. Why aren’t Canada’s retailers giving online shoppers what they want?
ePath Consulting apparently had similar questions, because they proceeded to conduct their own study with the 2013 Canadian eBusiness Manager survey. ePath invited participants from some of the biggest names in Canadian e-commerce, and 69 Canadian e-business Managers responded to the survey. Many of those respondents also agreed to be interviewed. The result is a more meaty report with actionable conclusions for online businesses. Please have a look at the highlights in the below slideshow and share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Click the icon in the lower right corner to view full-screen.
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