19.8 million Canadians shop online, and they’re expected to spend $39 billion online in 2019 (nearly double what was spent in 2016). While businesses in this country have improved their online presence, they continue to struggle with grabbing online shoppers, convincing them to buy, and turning them into loyal customers.
VL OMNI, an Ontario-based provider of iPaaS eCommerce integration solutions, has provided a snapshot of the state of eCommerce in Canada in 2019. Their infographic focuses on where we are now, and where we need to go to ensure success in online retail.
The report confirms that mobile commerce will continue to grow in Canada in 2019. There continues to be a strong focus on multi-channel, with grocery growing into a true multi-channel sector after years of mixed interest from consumers and merchants.
Canadian eCommerce Challenges
Canadians are savvy online consumers that have gotten used to the best-of-breed eCommerce customer experiences like Amazon provides. 2019 will see a continuation of the growing consumer need for convenience and personalization. Unfortunately, Canadian merchants continue to be slow in strategically investing in their back end eCommerce infrastructure, negatively impacting their customers’ experiences.
Merchants in Canada have been responding to growing consumer needs online by expanding their digital footprints over time. B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) will continue to converge in 2019. An emerging area for a seamless buying experience, B2B brands are going directly to their customers with increasing frequency, taking ownership of their sales by mimicking the B2C buying experience for their B2B customers.
Canadian eCommerce will rely on enhanced buying experiences that are rooted in personalization, convenience, and a consistent, timely buying experience across all channels. Consumers refuse to feel constricted by geography or time, forcing brands to conform to the online experience that they want to engage with. Consumers will continue to expect online merchants to be available wherever and whenever they make a purchase.
The Trend Toward Integrated Business
Canadian merchants in both B2B and B2C still have a long way to go. Canadian businesses are finally seeing the advantage of strategically automating their back end systems with agile and scalable data integration. However, cutting-edge brands have already invested heavily in these processes and are now focusing on mastering the customer experience across all touch points. Many businesses in this country have some catching up to do, and they must do so quickly if they are to compete at a global level online.
Transforming eCommerce Through Flexibility
Businesses are seeing the value in diversifying their offerings to compete with the intense pressures from disruptors. Even with competition from Amazon/Whole Foods and others, digital grocery has been one sector with incredible developments that have outpaced other sectors. Canadian grocery has made marked attempts to embrace flexible eCommerce options that center around the customers’ shopping habits, including click-and-collect and home delivery.
Customer Experience is King
2019 will see the continued development of a great customer experience across the board. Canadians are sophisticated online customers who are accustomed to the high customer experience standards set by Amazon and others online. Domestic brands must continue to strive to provide a similar experience across their customer journey to make headway in 2019 and beyond.
“The disconnect between Canadian online retailers and Canadian consumers persists, with a limited number of online Canadian retailers being able to effectively complete with foreign brands,” concludes VL OMNI. “Canadian retailers must continue to adapt to remain competitive.”
There is no reason to think our merchants cannot hold their own in online retail. Canadians have expressed a preference for Canadian retailers time and time again. They want to “buy Canadian” and are only waiting for the opportunity to do so. Will you be there for them?
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
2019 Multi-Source Report: What Canadian Online Shoppers Want
Canadians Are Crazy About Online Shopping (Infographic)
Your Unique Selling Proposition for Online Business and eCommerce
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.