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In recent years, consumer online expectations for detailed, rich and readily available product information has skyrocketed.

The rise of consumer usage of the Internet for research and information collection, coupled with rapidly increasing social media usage and improved rich media technolo- gies, has driven leading online retailers to invest heavily in product information and presentation.

Common “must have” best practices in product presentation and information are as follows: Clear product images, providing the customer the ability to see a larger view, view color choices and easily see important details. Clear, detailed product descriptions, focused on important features and benefits, answering key customer questions. Product dimensions, specifications and sizing charts should be easily accessible from the product page. Easy to read pricing, with sale prices and savings stories legible and easy to under- stand. Customer ratings and reviews, allowing shoppers to see what other customers think of the product. Easy access to product availability, delivery, and shipping costs. Suggestions for alternate or complimentary items.

When adapting these best practices for your Canadian e-commerce efforts, it is likely that you will want to leverage your U.S. e-commerce product assets as much as possi- ble to save time and money. The following items should be reviewed and considered as additions or changes to your U.S. assets to best serve the Canadian shopper:

Language: If you have brick-and-mortar stores in Québec, you are legally required to offer a French-language website and ship all products with French labels, tags, packaging and invoices/packing lists. Even if you do not have a legal obligation to do so, many Canadian e-commerce sites offer a French-language option as a cour- tesy to customers. There are cultural differences in the English language in Canada vs. the U.S., so if possible, all website copy should be reviewed by someone familiar with Canadian culture.

Pricing: Show Canadian pricing consistently throughout the shopping experience wherever possible, and show accurate shipping charges as early in the purchase path as possible.

Specifications: Product specifications such as dimensions and weight should be expressed in metric terms. Sizing charts should reflect European sizing equivalents.

Reviews: Encourage Canadian customers to post reviews of products to create a culturally relevant point of view on the site.

Shipping Information: Set customer’s expectations by indicating delivery times and shipping costs up-front. This is especially important if you are shipping across the border. Pay special attention to holiday shipping cut-off dates for Canada.

Product Presentation and Information for Canadian E-commerce

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

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.


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