Canadian E-Commerce To Increase

    December 21, 2006

While online holiday shopping in the US remains robust things are different north of our border in Canada. Canadians lead the world in broadband penetration, time spent online, electronic banking and bill paying. Clearly they are an Internet savvy country but when it comes to making online purchases Canadians prefer to buy at a store.

The chief complaint among shoppers is that Web retailers are not interested in selling online while retailers have not seen enough traffic on sites to justify improving their current sites.

Concerns over security have caused Canadians to browse and gather information about a product online but not make purchases. Canadian retailers see the Internet as a business-to-business sales channel.

There are signs of growth in the Canadian e- commerce market. An eMarketer report says online sales are expected to increase 25 percent for a total of $8.3 billion. Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and the author the new Canada B2C E-Commerce report said,” We are estimating that this year more than half (53%) of Canadian Internet users ages 18 and older will make at least one online purchase.”

Another factor that will increase growth is that more Canadians plan to buy gifts online during the holiday season. Also contributing to the upswing is a number of larger retailers have launched online sites, which in turn has increased consumer confidence as well as sales.

“To assure the continued growth of Canadian e-commerce, retailers must provide consumers with an online shopping experience that is satisfactory from beginning to end,” says Grau “The problem is that some large retailers have neglected their Web sites. This is apparent from their lack of selection, poor Web site design and limited features and functionality. They have trouble tracking orders and meeting delivery deadlines.”

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.