Canadian’s will have a new destination to do their on-line shopping as the All Canadian shopping portal, Shop.ca is set to make it’s debut today.
There are currently several Canadian on-line shopping eCommerce sites on the right now including amazon.ca, ebay.ca, canadapost.ca/shopper/, airmilesshops.ca, apple.ca, homedepot.ca, futureshop.ca, bestbuy.ca and the list goes on.
For the most part most Canadian on-line shopping portals are just like our Canadian Specialty TV channels simply watered down mirror images of their bigger American sites. Sure Walmar, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, and the Biggie Amazon have Canadian sites but the product selection, options and pricing in most cases is not even close to amazon.com and other US eCommerce shopping sites. Of course Canada’s population base is roughly the size of the state of California but still we’re talking On-Line shopping here guys, there’s no bricks and mortar infrastructure to be built so why the poor quality selection, lack of may products and outrageous pricing when compared to the USA. It’s not the dollar or even taxes but rather Canadian Distribution.
Many products sold in the USA and elsewhere have distributors in Canada with exclusive distribution rights to themselves and their retailers. This adds another step to distribution and thus another price mark up to the end consumer to cover the cost of the so called Canadian distributor who more often than not doesn’t even stock the product in Canada but rather drop ships it in from the US or China. Many Canadian distributors are simply marketing companies who are order takers and logistics facilitators rather than stocking distributors.
Shop.ca is promoting itself as the defacto one stop shopping site on the internet for Canadian On-line shoppers. Shop.ca says it already has hundreds of Canadian based retailers and thousands of products ready to make the Canadian on-line buying experience more similar to US sites. The main benefit to Shop.ca will be all products listed will be priced in Canadian dollars and shipped from Canadian sellers so no cross border shipping issues and returns should be much easier.
Whether Shop.ca will become the biggest on-line shopping destination in Canada will depend on their product selection and pricing. If amazon.com and ebay.ca have greater selection and cheaper prices bargain hunting Canadians will continue to use those sites to save money even with the hassles of cross border shipping and customs brokerage.
I tried to log on to Shop.ca and was greeted by this message
Looks like they’re still not up and running