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Cross border ecommerce handbook

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday August 7, 2010 )

If you’re a U.S based online merchant looking to increase your Canadian customer base, this comprehensive free handbook is for you.

Visa have developed a 97 page handbook to provide U.S. retailers with a bunch of guidelines and tips for doing online business with folks in Canada. It seems there are quite a few differences between Canadian and domestic clients with the former having their own sets of concerns, such as not having an accurate total cost when ordering from U.S. e-retailers, or not wanting to pay extra charges for shipping across the border.

An important quote from the “Visa E-commerce Cross-border Handbook For U.S. Retailers” (PDF):

“As a retailer, don’t fall into the trap that Canada is the 51st U.S. state. If you do, you are likely to be under-whelmed by their response if you do not take the time to understand their needs relative to your capabilities.”

With over 28 million potential online shoppers aged 15 and over living in Canada, it’s a market well worth paying some attention to, particularly if your own U.S. space is getting a little crowded. A 2008 survey found approximately two thirds of Canadians were shopping at U.S. websites; with selection and cheaper prices as being their primary motivator.

It’s quite a comprehensive handbook consisting of ten chapters, covering these topics:

Chapter 1: assessing the financial and competitive opportunity
Chapter 2: the Canadian consumer
Chapter 3: strategy and positioning
Chapter 4: marketing and analytics
Chapter 5: merchandising
Chapter 6: IT and operations
Chapter 7: customs laws and procedures
Chapter 8: legislative
Chapter 9: cross-border payments
Chapter 10: fraud management and security

Usually you would expect to have to pay for this sort of information, but Visa is providing the handbook totally free, you don’t even need to register an email address to get it.

Here’s the link again: “Visa E-commerce Cross-border Handbook For U.S. Retailers” (PDF)


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