Two numbers regarding Canadian e-commerce caught my eye the other day, given that they were almost perfectly complementary. The first was an item from the Business Development Bank of Canada, which notes that about 30 per cent of Canadian small businesses still don’t have a web presence. The second was a new report from trend tracker NPD Group, which finds that about 63 per cent of Canadians like to shop online in order to save money.
The two figures do much to illustrate that while Canadians are great on the demand side of online transactions, they’re not so good on the supply side. The reasons why are varied, but ultimately unknown.
The BDC findings are especially poignant, since they highlight a big problem. “It is critical for small business to get ahead of internet trends and manage their image, including managing online reviews,” said Pierre Cléroux, chief economist for the BDC. “And it’s not just having a website. They need more than that – they also need a strategy on the web.” Read the rest of this entry »