A Christmas List For Canadian E-Commerce

October 17, 2014 Ben Myers


Dear Santa,

I’ve been good this year. No, wait. I’ve been great. And I know it’s still early, but in e-commerce, we start preparing for the holidays about three or four months out.

That’s why, on behalf of the Canadian e-commerce community, I’m writing to ask — no, DEMAND — the following items and improvements for Christmas (a.k.a. Black Friday: The Reckoning). And if you can’t come through, I’ll never drink a Coke again.

Better TV Ads For And By Canadians

Canadians brands and agencies need to up their game. This Christmas (when I spend a lot of time watching those magical mid-day NBA and NFL matchups) and beyond, I want to see ads that are funny, colourful and daring.

There are some agencies that are pushing the envelope with experiential or colourful ads, but we still see a lot of filler car commercials and Home Hardware ads with familiar faces and formats that were conceived in the 90s.

Sid Lee sure got a lot of attention for We The North, making a tag line and TV spot that was dark and ambitious. It certainly paid off for the Raptors, and and a tribute to the creative team will now be splashed across the Raptors’ home court.

Bell Media is inviting more agencies to up their game (and silence rowdy Canadian NFL fans) with the Super Bowl Canadian Ad Challenge. A panel of judges will pick the best 30-second ad from among the submissions, and the ad will air during the CTV broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX. A worthy prize for an outstanding ad.

More Access To Digital Wallets

Tim Cook announces Apple Pay on Sept. 9, 2014.

Tim Cook announces Apple Pay on Sept. 9, 2014.

Though Canadian merchants are better equipped than others in North America to handle contactless NFC payments, consumers are locked out of several key features on iPhone and Android.

I’m hopeful that before Christmas, we’ll see the release of both Apple Pay and Ugo Wallet in Canada. Google Wallet has been around for a few years now, so I’m not betting on it being made available in Canada this year, but with so many consumers carrying an NFC-enabled phones by the end of this year the corporate support must be on its way.

Same-day Shipping Options

Shipping Featured Parcels

On Oct. 14, Google unveiled an expanded and renamed Google Express same-day shipping service that will now reach seven million Americans. I want that.

Last year, Canada Post tested its Delivered Tonight pilot project and it may do so again for the 2014 holiday shopping rush. Partnering with Bestbuy.ca, Futureshop.ca, Indigo.ca, Walmart.ca and others, it offered surprise same-day delivery for e-commerce customers in the Toronto area.

Chances are that you weren’t a part of this pilot, but every time someone receive a parcel on the same day they ordered it, expectations for e-commerce creep higher. Let’s keep raising the bar.

Keep The Pop-up Shops Coming

Frank & Oak TFC pop-up shop

The Frank & Oak TFC pop-up shop Oct. 16, 2014.

Pop-up shops are fun! We see more and more e-commerce shops going the pop-up route as a way of getting feedback from existing customers and gaining the trust of new customers that might hesitate when making online orders.

Frank & Oak recently announced a new Toronto FC-themed pop-up shop in (you guessed it) Toronto for Oct. 16 – 25. These temporary spaces grow Canadian e-commerce and are a great place to scope out unique Christmas gifts.

What would you put on your e-commerce Christmas list?

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