Canadian Retailers Dropping the Ball on Adopting e-Commerce, Social Media to Engage Customers Consumers

The Daily Social Media Marketing Campaign News
By Howard Oliver, CEO, What If What Next,

U.S.-based ComScore Inc., which follows digital trends, has reported that retail e-commerce sales in the United States were almost $34 billion for the first fiscal quarter of 2010, up 10 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Canadian retailers and their customers appear to be lagging compared with their American cousins when it comes to taking advantage of e-commerce, according to figures from the Retail Council of Canada.

A new report from the council says only two thirds of Canadian retailers are using e-commerce and their websites are generating just five per cent of total sales. Although on 65 per cent of medium- to large-sized businesses in Canada are currently taking advantage of e-commerce, the retail council survey found that most plan to have an e-commerce site in the next five years.

68 per cent of Canadian retailers are using social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach their customers and increase sales, according to the report. Retailers are also using social networking sites for promotional purposes and customer insight, and talk to consumers about products or trends.


About Howard Oliver
The founder and CEO of What If What Next, Howard Oliver ( for more than 20 years has been an entrepreneur, writer, thought leader, PR Guru, business development strategist, technology evangelist, manager and consultant for numerous service, industrial and high technology companies. Howard provides leadership in the application of Agile and Lean project management methodologies for technology enabled social media marketing and PR campaigns that deliver revenue, customer and alliance engagement, and media buzz. Clients in technology and other industries recognize him as a driven, highly creative and disciplined thinker. He also created the WebVoyaging® brand, a market engagement methodology that optimizes the deployment of cloud based, best-in-class marketing automation solutions. The WebVoyaging® process is inspired by the great visionaries who conceived of and built history’s great sailing vessels, which helped establish trade routes and created huge wealth. An accomplished business educator, Howard has recently created the WebVoyaging® Master Class, a training program for organizations interested in implementing Lean marketing automation solutions. Howard holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University. Howard is an avid sailor and collector of books.

3 Responses to Canadian Retailers Dropping the Ball on Adopting e-Commerce, Social Media to Engage Customers Consumers

  1. Martin says:

    Canadian Retailers have a challenge, most Canadians live very close to a physical store. Here is one of many insights.. The e commerce site for Canadian companies, must be different than the stores. It must understand the deeper needs of the Brand and Service, as well as the deeper needs of the site visitors.
    It must get very good at offering special things on the web, while engaging and triggering store visits.
    It starts with a really deep understanding of your market and store and web traffic, before you spend dime one.
    Martin Hoffmitz

    • HO says:


      What metrics do you consider important?


      • Martin says:

        The most important metric, learning to ask the right question. Imagine the following story, Sally is looking for something when she comes to the website, and she could be more excited about your brand, she could get really motivated to buy on your site, or she could be intrigued enough, to get into a store fast, and maybe bring a friend. So the first question, is understanding who is engaging you, what really motivates them, and what makes them do what they do…. Now you can start to apply metrics across key measurements.. for example, what makes her trigger to store visit? Fashion excitement, excellent value, specials that help her and her friends shop and save together? Store experience etc.. then you start measuring what really matters, in real time and link it to real actions like web traffic, web traffic triggered to store visit, store visitor conversion to purchase, store visitor average purchase, customer share of total yearly spend in category. In short, understand the dr

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