I felt the collective shiver go down the spines of the eCommerce community when Target Canada mentioned their plans to launch into Canadian cyberspace. The last thing our weak online representation needs is another giant stomping on our toes. However, you shouldn’t feel too much pain from any competitor if you concentrate on what unique qualities your business can offer.

Canadian online retailers can offer much more to Canadian consumers than any American giant on either side of the border:Target Canada's eCommerce Plans

  • We ARE Canadian
  • We are intimately acquainted with the Canadian market
  • There is nothing the giants do on their website that we can’t do affordably on ours
  • We can provide premium, Canada-based customer service
  • We can offer unique merchandise
  • Online marketing is affordable for any size business

The sky didn’t fall when Walmart Canada brought in eCommerce options for Canadians, and it won’t fall when Target does it either. It will keep us on our toes, but that’s a good thing. You don’t have to be the only merchant offering a product or even have the lowest price, you just have to be the best choice.

For more help with online competition, check out these eCommerce tips for Canadian merchants, and address the issues online shoppers have with Canada’s eRetailers.  If you don’t have a website at all, you may find it useful to read Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHave you found ways to gain a competitive advantage over giant retailers in Canada?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

Target Canada Has Online Shopping in Its Sights. Canada Real Time, Wall Street Journal.


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

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.

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Big box stores are a big threat that shouldn’t be taken lightly but I agree that smaller stores can come up with ways to trump them. One thing they can do is pay their management more like the big stores do. They aren’t going to get much more than a wet behind the ears kid for the lousy $12 an hour most of them pay. You’re not going to make money hiring the cheapest and they’re not going to stick around long enough to make a difference. Invest in your staff and you’ll see returns!


I’m not at all worried about Target. The big box stores don’t get it and they never will get it. Customers that are worth having figured that out a long time ago, the rest will hang on to every last penny and are of little use to begin with.

Blaine BC

Target created their own hoopla around their launch but Canadians aren’t that impressed. They’re just another department store. If they want to impress Canadians they should be looking for Canadian experts who can connect with them on a personal/social level. Americans trying to relate to Canadians just come off as fake and condescending.

Jack Lee

I agree! Canadians are no stranger to hard work and that’s what it takes to make it online, not throwing billions at “We heart Canada” commercials like Target. They like to think they’re fooling those silly little Canadians but they’re not.