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In a November 2009 study conducted by Ipsos Reid for Visa Canada (Figure 2.9), additional insights highlight some of the barriers for consumers as it pertains to cross- border shopping.

Figure 2.9: Attitudes and Barriers Towards Online Cross-border Shopping

I don't want to pay extra for shipping

82%

Not knowing the total cost

75%

American sites...offer wider selection

72%

Shippingfees from U.S. retailersaretoo high

72%

Includingshipping fees, cheaperto buy from U.S.

43%

U.S. retailerswon't ship to Canada

42%

0% 25% 50% Source: 2008 Canadian Consumer E-commerce Study by Burak Jacobson for Visa Canada

75%

1

The study also revealed that Canadians who had previously shopped at U.S. online retailers, were more likely to agree that U.S. retail sites offered more selection (82% vs. 72%), and that it was cheaper to buy from American sites (59% vs. 43%).

Directional information related to some of the other questions posed earlier would be available at sites such as the following:

  • www.clickz.com

  • www.emarketer.com

  • www.internetworldstats.com

While these sites provide additional information on the Canadian online market, a more in-depth analysis of these questions, may require you to commission primary research.

However, before you venture down that particular route, you may wish to contact e-commerce specialists in the Canadian space to ascertain what level of information they have on-hand, or for them to propose alternative sources.

In closing, the Canadian online consumer is diverse, demanding and can be desirable for U.S. retailers looking to venture into this market.

As a retailer, don’t fall into the trap that Canada is the 51st U.S. state. If you do, you are likely to be under-whelmed by their response if you do not take the time to understand their needs relative to your capabilities.

Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.

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