Canada may have lagged behind for a while when it came to e-commerce. However, judging from recent reports, more Canadians are embracing this alternative to brick-and-mortar stores.

In fact, Canadians are expected to spend over $39 billion on online purchases by 2019. While for now, most of Canada’s e-commerce purchases have made at foreign retailers, local retailers seem to be catching up.

62% of Canadian retailers admitted that the value of their online sales and conversion rates have risen since 2016. Additionally, more and more Canadians are opting for digital payment methods. 57% of payments in the country today actually involve no physical cash, as mentioned on Work is Changing.

However, Canada still has a long way to go compared to other countries like the US and the UK. This is because there are several glaring e-commerce hurdles that Canada needs to overcome first.

For instance, many online shoppers are concerned about their privacy. CBC shared a survey about Canadians’ online shopping habits and according to the results, five out of six respondents believe they don’t have any control over how marketers obtain their information.

To reassure customers, local e-commerce businesses should strengthen their security protocols and be transparent about the data they collect on shoppers.

The privacy concern is only fuelled by the fact that some Canadian platforms have complicated checkout processes. The more fields a customer must fill out, the more they are discouraged from making the purchase.

The best solution is to reduce the number of fields needed in the checkout process. However, in the event that sensitive information such as a phone number is required, retailers should clearly explain to their customers why they are asking for it.

Poor user experience design is another common problem with Canadian e-commerce websites. Ayima pointed out that many Canadian sites have poor navigation, meaning visitors find it difficult to locate a particular item.

Effective site navigation is vital for e-commerce platforms because it keeps visitors interested. Most potential customers will leave a platform if they aren’t able to find a particular product quickly.

To improve this aspect, businesses must constantly gather feedback from visitors to find out the current limitations of their websites.

Furthermore, some online retailers make the mistake of prioritizing aesthetics over functionality. It’s true that people appreciate beautifully designed websites, but if visitors find these graphics to be a distraction, the company’s conversion rates may be affected.

Plus, high-resolution images and automatic video streams may hurt a website’s site speed. Slow loading websites prompt shoppers to leave and search elsewhere.

Clearly, Canada is still a rookie in the e-commerce industry. But the country’s retailers are stepping up their game, especially with the arrival of a major player. Amazon’s arrival has spurred Canada’s retailers to offer better online shopping options.

In a few years’ time, Canada may be able to catch up to their biggest contenders in the e-commerce scene.

Get up to $60,000
in financial support,
and the support of one
of our 2,400+ mentors.

Learn More →