What is Go Digital Canada and is it Right for Your Business?

We’ve been receiving a lot of email about the new Federal Government + Shopify initiative, Go Digital Canada. Canada’s small, independent retailers are especially interested in trying it, but wonder if the time & money would be better spent elsewhere. The following guide will help to clarify your choices, and ultimately result in the best solution for your online business.

What is Go Digital Canada and is it Right for Your Business?

The Canadian Government recently announced a partnership with Canada’s Shopify, resulting in a digital transformation initiative called Go Digital Canada. This resource is intended to guide and launch retailers into the world of eCommerce.

“As Canadians, we are resilient – finding solutions where others just see a challenge,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “Our government is working hard to harness this entrepreneurial spirit and help Canadians turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses – and help them rebuild in the months to come. Shopify is an incredible made-in-Canada success story, and their work to help Canadian entrepreneurs go digital, as we increasingly shift online in response to COVID-19, will help create even more Canadian success stories. Now is Canada’s time.”

It’s a wonderful opportunity for Canadian retailers who want to sell online, but is it a good fit for your digital business?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I be selling more than a few physical products?
  • Do I need omni-channel functionality? Such as synced inventory, online & offline sales capability, curbside pickup, and so on.
  • Do I sell both retail and wholesale?
  • Will I be using drop-shipped fulfillment?
  • Will I need training and expert guidance?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should at least explore the opportunity. If not, we have some further reading for you below.

Shopify offers a wide range of features and options that allow you to grow as you go, as quickly as you like. The array of options allow you to quickly pivot too, which is something we’ve all learned the value of during the pandemic.

With their current Go Digital Canada offering, you have three months to take it on a test drive. If you invest some time, you’ll learn a lot along the way. If you’re focused on retail, you really can’t go wrong with this eCommerce platform.

For a limited time, small businesses across Canada can launch their business online with an extended 90-day free trial. You can access a suite of resources and tools to build your online store, including step-by-step guidance with Shopify Compass, live webinars, and 24/7 support from the Shopify team.

Visit Go Digital Canada for free guidance, tools and resources to future-proof your business. Canadian organizations looking to partner with Shopify to join Go Digital Canada, should contact go-digital-canada@shopify.com.

What are my Options?

If you don’t intend to sell a lot of physical products online, you may want to consider other options before making the final decision.

We have the following guides to help you narrow it down:

Canadian Guide to the Best eCommerce Platform Software

Top 7 Ecommerce Platforms for Digital Product Downloads

The Best eCommerce Software Platforms for Drop Shipping

Checklist: How to Start an Online Store (eCommerce Business) in Canada

If you need further guidance, please post your questions in the comments below or meet up with us in our Facebook Group.

We’re excited to see Canadian retailers finally taking their place online, whatever route they take. Survey after survey has found Canadians much prefer to shop within our borders, virtually guaranteeing a boost to your bottom line if you put the work in.

Speaking of which, remember this is only the beginning of the digital journey. You’ll have a lot of learning and work to do after the store is launched and the marketing never stops. That said, today’s automated digital business environment makes it manageable for most. If you have the budget for it, consider hiring experts to speed things up and to ensure you’re fully leveraging the opportunities you now have.

See you online!


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Melody McKinnon
Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadianDigitalMedia.com, 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.

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