On this week’s episode of the PROFIT BusinessCast, Drew Green, CEO and founder of shop.ca, talks about where ecommerce is headed in Canada. A 15-year veteran of digital media and ecommerce, Green ran American shopping site shop.com until it was acquired, and then turned his attention to the underserved Canadian market. He couldn’t understand why billions of dollars were being spent across the border online when that money could be staying in Canada. “About half of the purchases we make are on U.S. sites—that’s about $11 billion last year,” says Green. So he created a shopping site specifically for Canadians, mimicking the more transparent, straightforward design of American shopping sites.
The opportunity for ecommerce in Canada is massive right now, says green. Based on his site’s stats, Canadians are getting more comfortable buying bigger items online.
Right now, ecommerce accounts for only 2-3% of the retail market in Canada—in the U.K., it’s closer to 25% of all purchases. That will slowly change, as more Canadian businesses invest in etail. Green welcomes the rising number of accelerators and incubators joining him in the ecommerce space. “We have a ways to go, and no one company can make it happen. Whether it’s accelerators or incubators or entrepreneurs, the more investment we make in the consumer experience, the better all businesses will do,” he says.
Green’s advice to other entrepreneurs looking to get into ecommerce? “Think big. Not having a bold objective is a missed opportunity.” Part of that “big” thinking is looking beyond North American markets.
Click the iTunes button below to listen to the full podcast, which includes Green’s advice on moving into global markets and enticing people to buy online for the first time.