Make e‑commerce your export advantage

In a rapidly changing international business landscape, staying ahead of the game is crucial for companies looking to thrive. With the ever‑growing influence of the Internet, many Canadian small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) are turning to selling and promoting their products and services online to boost their sales and expand their global reach.

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The e‑commerce opportunity for export‑ready businesses is enormous and growing. The pandemic has only accelerated its adoption, making it an even more indispensable tool. According to Global Affairs Canada’s State of Trade 2023 report, 33% of Canadian companies sold products or services online in 2021, three times more than the 11% that did so in 2012. As a result, many Trade Commissioner Service clients now consider having an online sales channel presence mandatory for international success.

Seizing e‑commerce opportunities

What benefits can export‑ready companies gain from using e‑commerce? Let’s explore the advantages of taking your business to the web:

Promoting your brand

Over the years, the landscape of e‑commerce has seen significant changes. In 2012, larger firms dominated online sales, but by 2021, smaller businesses had embraced e‑commerce, closing the gap with their larger counterparts. Canadian e‑commerce service providers, including content creators, online sales platforms, and web designers, have proven to have an extensive ecosystem capable of sustaining and supporting the deployment of e‑commerce for businesses. As a result, big and small Canadian companies now have a range of online tools to promote their products and services, including e‑commerce marketplaces and company websites.

Mitigate common e‑commerce challenges

As with any new venture abroad, some challenges may arise when doing business in e‑commerce. Here are some of the most common e‑commerce challenges that businesses face and how to mitigate them:

E‑commerce requirements and regulations

While exporting online is a profitable business opportunity that has grown exponentially in recent years, it’s critical to be informed about online requirements and laws. E‑commerce complexity intensifies with different currencies, varied hosting options, and offshore manufacturing and warehousing. Meeting the following requirements can help you increase your legitimacy and develop a trusting relationship between your business and its customers:

Act today to stay ahead of the game

Our network of Trade Commissioners in more than 160 cities worldwide can help your export‑ready company navigate the local business environment in a particular market, discover opportunities, and succeed on the world stage.

Want to know if you’re ready to expand your business abroad? Take our export readiness quiz, check your score and be sure you are ready. When the time is right for you, contact us to get started on your e‑commerce export journey.

And be sure to connect with us to stay in the know about our services, funding and support programs, trade news and events, and business opportunities around the world. Follow us on LinkedIn, X (Twitter) and Facebook for the latest information and updates, and watch our videos on YouTube.

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