Every year, Canadian companies are faced with challenges on how to allocate their finite resources in order to achieve the highest possible return on their investments. Often times, these decisions can be extremely difficult. Many different departments within a company may present similar or equivalent opportunities for growth, making the choice of where to direct resources all the more challenging. However, there are other times when market trends and technological changes will make the correct path very clear and obvious. At this moment, the argument for investing in e-commerce teams is a strong one, and the potential gains are substantial.
In this article, we will examine three critical statistics and trends that clearly illustrate the importance for Canadian companies to invest in their e-commerce departments. Taking action now to boost the capabilities of your e-commerce team will help ensure your company can capitalize on these trends, gain competitive advantage, and deliver a better overall customer experience in a challenging marketplace.
Let’s take a look at the first trend in Canadian retail e-commerce, and what it could mean for your business.
1 – E-commerce revenue in Canada is projected to surpass $25 billion by 2020.
It’s tough to scoff at a number like $25 billion. By the year 2020, Canadian e-commerce revenue is projected to surpass $25 billion as Canada’s economy continues to grow and consumer shopping habits maintain their shift towards online retail options. If your company wants to take part in that growth and gain a larger share of that revenue, then now is the time to increase investment and resources in your e-commerce team to handle the demands of marketing, customer service, and order fulfilment through your online channels.
2 – E-commerce share of total retail sales in Canada has doubled since 2012 to over 8% and is projected to surpass 10% by 2020.
Not only is the overall dollar value of e-commerce revenue expected to grow, but the percentage of total retail sales from e-commerce channels is also projected to increase steadily. Since 2012, the e-commerce portion of total retail sales in Canada has grown from around 4% to over 8%. This growth is not expected to stop any time soon, and by 2020 the portion of sales from e-commerce is estimated to reach over 10%. This trend illustrates the evolving customer preferences towards online retail, and the increasing effectiveness of e-commerce solutions to meet the demands of customers. As more and more customers choose to do a larger portion of their shopping online, Canadian businesses must ensure that they are delivering a positive customer experience through their online retail channels.
3 – Hybrid e-commerce models like click-and-collect helps reduce delivery expenses which are 85% of costs occurring in the last mile of delivery.
As impressive as those first two statistics are, it’s not just the sales numbers and percentages that are important to note. Consumer shopping habits are constantly evolving, forcing companies to adapt or die to an increasingly diverse set of customer experience requirements. In this case however, these requirements are taking the form of a hybrid between traditional brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce to deliver added convenience for shoppers.
To cite one popular example, Canadian grocer Loblaws now offers customers the ability to place their order through an e-commerce platform, and then pick up their order at the grocery store location of their choice. You may have already seen the ‘Click and Collect’ parking spaces marked at many Loblaws or Zehrs grocery locations in Canada. Other retailers are also adopting this model, with Walmart being one of the most recent to implement it in Canada.
This eagerness of customers to choose a click-and-collect method of shopping carries with it an added benefit to businesses, since it helps to alleviate a significant portion of delivery costs. Studies have shown that approximately 85% of delivery costs are incurred in the last mile of delivery to the consumer. Using a click-and-collect model offers substantial cost savings for companies, along with convenience and time-savings for their customers.
What These E-commerce Trends Mean for Your Business
It may come as no surprise that these trends all point to the need for your business to rethink your approach to e-commerce and its importance in your organization. While the fact that sales volumes are projected to continue growing may be the biggest influencing statistic, don’t overlook the need for an enhanced e-commerce experience to meet changing consumer expectations. Packing, fulfilment and customer service are all essential tasks that will definitely be affected by increased sales volume. You’ll also need to examine your ability to meet the demands of consumers if a click-and-collect e-commerce model is what they are looking for. Your retail stores may not be capable of performing these tasks in their current state and may need to be upgraded or retrofitted in order to provide click-and-collect services to your customers.
Regardless of whether your company needs a full overhaul of your e-commerce capabilities, or if they just need to be tweaked and adjusted a bit, you’ll want to ensure that you evaluate all opportunities for improvement and choose the ones that make the most sense for your business. The team here at SCI can help with the e-commerce needs of your business such as warehousing & Canada-wide distribution, transportation management, and more. We will work with you to put the right resources in place to achieve success.
Contact our team of e-commerce experts and we will answer all your questions on how you can take advantage of these amazing trends in the world of Canadian online retail.