eCommerce in Canada: Growing at the Right Time

October 18, 2021

The past two years in Canadian retail have been difficult to say the least, given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. If there was a potential bright spot for brands and retailers during this time, it was that shoppers took to online purchases well. And 2021 looks to continue growing—eCommerce is now considered a “primary growth driver of retail” in Canada, according to eMarketer .

In the past, the Canada market was quite different than its North American counterpart to the south, as online purchasing was in the single digits as a share of overall sales. However, in the last year, Canada eCommerce sales reached 12.7% share of total retail sales—the first time to reach double digits—in 2020. Comparatively speaking, United States eCommerce sales accounted for 14% of overall retail  sales. So even though Canadian consumers still buy in-store more than their U.S. counterparts, the gap has shrunk. And while the U.S. showed strong year-over-year growth (32%), Canada’s jump (75%) represented the second highest growth rate in the world, behind only Argentina.

What does this mean for brands and retailers? This means that there is growing acceptance of shoppers to consider products and purchase them without visiting a place in person, even though there is still room to grow. As more people become more at ease with researching and buying online, the brands and retailers that present the most welcoming and engaging product pages will enjoy more and better sales growth.

Toys: A Seasonal Staple

One especially hot category for these final months of the year is toys, with holiday gift-giving helping drive that demand. For brands selling in Canada, this represents an added opportunity by creating an engaging environment for shoppers to experience the products virtually.

And with the flexibility that online product pages can provide, there are great options for creative ways to engage shoppers and move them from browsers to buyers. For example, for  —the rich media and brand-building assets that go beyond basic product description—there’s a secondary potential increase in sales. Toy brands, on average, experience a 19% increase in conversions when shoppers engage with rich content presented on a product page. So, for a brand that’s not leveraging Enhanced Content—or a retailer that’s not enabling it on their site—you are missing out on sales.

Lifts in sales conversion can go even higher in the toy category, when specific features such as video galleries are added to the mix. Syndigo saw lifts as much as 43% from shoppers who engaged with a video gallery online. And in a category like toys—where creativity and imagination are part of the excitement—creating that feeling online with Enhanced Content can be just the thing to push sales higher.

Get it Before the Holiday Rush

Given the benefits of adding Enhanced Content to a product page, both brands and retailers in Canada should be considering these capabilities before the busiest shopping time of the year. Based on the current trends and projections, online shopping will continue to grow, and those companies who establish themselves now will take share from those that don’t.

Here are three steps that both brands and retailers should consider to make sure they are leveraging online content:

  • First, make sure the Core Content is complete, accurate, and built to retailer taxonomies (if you are a Syndigo client, we help to ensure that).
  • Next, add in the Enhanced Content capabilities to drive more conversions: everything from Engaging Hero images to interactive hot spots, 360-spin images, video carousels, and more. These are the things that convert more people.
  • Finally, track page and product performance to measure the impact of these widgets. By experimenting and tweaking the mix of content, you can make the most of all content online.

Syndigo can help both retailers and brands in Canada drive more sales, more efficiently, through a mix of complete Core information and the engaging capabilities of Enhanced Content. The toy category is especially suited for more developed product pages, given the engaging nature of the products. However, brands and retailers should consider how Enhanced Content capabilities can benefit products across all categories. Learn more about Syndigo Enhanced Content here, and see how the toy category can benefit here.

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