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Chapter 4: marketing and analytics

Authored by: Maris Daughert , J.C. Williams Group


As the lead marketer for your business and as someone who is part of the team charged with “bringing eyeballs to the site,” your initial thoughts about extending your reach into the Canadian marketplace likely revolves around the differences between the U.S. and Canadian customer. What will it take to drive Canadian traffic to your site? How do you improve conversion rates and build loyalty amongst those Canadian consumers who are potentially your target customer?

In this chapter, we will discuss some of the differences between the current U.S. and Canadian online customer experience, and provide suggestions on a number of marketing methods to assist you in improving the customer experience.


  • Marketing basics

  • Marketing methods to drive traffic

  • Measurement and metrics

First, we offer a perspective on the Canadian e-commerce market from our experience over the past decade. Canadians have not embraced e-commerce and multi-channel retailing with the same degree of enthusiasm as their U.S. counterparts, and although this is changing, it is important to understand some of the underlying trends.

Historically, Canada has not had an abundance of catalog and direct businesses. Wait- ing for packages and paying for shipping is somewhat new. The majority of the Cana- dian population resides in urban centers, which have a higher concentration of retail stores than you will find in the U.S. This, therefore, makes shopping in stores more convenient than in the U.S. The abundance of brick-and-mortar retail stores helps to explain Canadians’ propensity to embrace cross-channel capabilities (e.g., buy online, pick up or return in-store). However, these capabilities are not yet readily available at most Canadian retailers.

In addition, Canadian retailers have not embraced multi-channel retailing with the same vigor as in the U.S., resulting in reduced choices of familiar brands and products.

Conversely, as mentioned in a previous chapter, many U.S. retailers have expanded into Canada but have provided a less than optimal customer experience. This has resulted in longer delivery times, customers who are unaware of final delivered costs, as well as customer concern over returning products purchased online.

Being aware that e-commerce adoption in the Canadian space has been hampered by some of these elements can help you as you determine what your online and multi- channel vision for this market will be.

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

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.


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