Canada, an E-commerce Contradiction?

I buy books, CD’s and DVD’s (yes I believe in musicians, publishers and authors getting paid for their creative works), clothing and just about everything else online. And I am not the only Canadian who shops online.

According to the Internet Association, Canadians lead the world when it comes to the amount of webpages visited each month and spent $122 billion on goods in 2012. Yet only 46% of Canadian businesses have a website and only 3% of our retail economy takes place online.

Let me get this straight, Canadians are online more than the citizens of any other country in the world, they spend a lot of money shopping online but more than half of Canadian businesses don’t find it necessary to market online. And this is all taking place when two pure play Montreal-based e-commerce powerhouses, Beyond the Rack and Frank and Oak are taking online clothing retail by storm.

From lack of capital for businesses to make the leap, to a lack of awareness to a lack of government tax credits and incentives, many reasons have been given as to why Canadian business is in the Late Majority when it comes to the Diffusion of Innovations theory. Maybe it’s our inborn tendency towards conservatism and unwillingness to take risks. Or maybe businesses can’t see the forest for the trees and realize that digital marketing and e-commerce are an integral part of the bigger picture of getting their products in their customers’ hands. One thing that online shopping trends will force businesses to adapt whether they want to or not.