One of the unique characteristics of Canadian ecommerce is that the propensity to do online research does not extend to online buying. Shoppers in Canada lag behind other advanced economies in making purchases on the internet. Only 56.9% of internet users ages 16 and older will make at least one purchase of a product or a service (including travel) online in 2011.
In order for online retailers to convert consumer searchers into buyers they need to improve and simplify their online shopping experience by perfecting their websites 7 C’s. The three main obstacles deterring interest in online buying is limited product selection, hesitancy of buying products without seeing them and high shipping costs. The first C to improve is content. Retailer should offer a broad range of products and even introduce products which are sold exclusively online to provide incentive for consumers to shop online. Secondly each product should be highly interactive, with pictures offering zoom capabilities and views from multiple angles, along with reviews from other buyers to establish trust. Once they are sure of their purchase decision, retailers must ensure the commerce transaction is quick and efficient, and overcome purchase barriers by offering low shipping and handling fees and free returns.
Contrary to beliefs that it is good enough to post your catalogue online and expect buyers to come, you need to provide your consumers with a satisfying and convenient experience that they can’t get offline.