The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Webinar Series, offers Canadian exporters lessons about how to develop online strategies, showcase their products virtually and find success in e‑commerce markets around the world.
As well as focusing on leveraging e‑commerce platforms like Alibaba, Shopify, Etsy, Facebook and Instagram, the series has expanded to include special topics like online marketing opportunities and challenges in European markets. The European Union (EU) e‑commerce webinar was organized by Aliénor Fagette, the trade commissioner at the Mission of Canada to the EU in Brussels who is responsible for digital industries, helping Canadian companies understand and comply with the EU regulatory framework.
Fagette, who covers e‑commerce, data protection, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, as well as standards and certification for information and communications technologies, says that in the EU market, shopping online has “become a lifeline for many people.” This is likely to continue as lockdowns persist, she says, noting that older people who were traditionally less likely to shop online now realize its convenience, and they intend to keep it up in the future.
“This means that the EU e‑commerce market, which was already experiencing high growth rates, is likely to expand more quickly, which means more business opportunities for Canadian exporters,” she says. Certain sectors are particularly benefiting from the pandemic, including health care, sports, groceries and consumer electronics, while fashion, tourism, travel and the event industry are suffering.
She advises Canadian businesses looking to get into e‑commerce in Europe to undertake in‑depth market research, because the region is diverse and companies may need to adapt their market‑entry strategy for each country. They should also assess at an early stage what type of regulatory requirements they will need to meet in order to export their products and services to the EU via e‑commerce.
The CanExport SMEs program has been revamped to allow SMEs and entrepreneurs to apply for funding toward e‑commerce business activities such as the adaptation of online marketing tools, including websites, and digital business consulting.
Please read: Q&A: Focus on e‑commerce in the EU market