E-commerce in the U.S has seen massive growth in the last couple of years. According to statistics, 69% of Americans have shopped online at least once. Canada, on the other hand, has been lagging in fully embracing online shopping. But, the tides seem to be turning since 2019. The current e-commerce user penetration in Canada stands at 76.7% and is projected to rise to 81.1% by 2024. So, is selling on Amazon Canada worth it? Yes it is and here’s why:
1. Less competition
If you look around, you’ll notice that almost all podcasts, courses, books, and blogs teaching about Amazon focus solely on the U.S. market. The Canadian market, though growing fast, remains much ignored. Most big brands focus on selling in the U.S or selling to Canada but shipping from the U.S, which costs the customer more. Getting in on the Canadian market now as a U.S seller would put you miles ahead in the coming gold rush. Less competition means more potential for growth and higher profitability.
2. Higher prices
The product selection on Amazon Canada is quite limited because there aren’t too many sellers. The limited supply means that customers are willing to pay higher prices for items in short supply, which translates to more profits for you.
What to consider when getting started
1. Product selection
The first thing to consider before selling to Canada-based buyers should be the product selection. Canadian and U.S markets are quite different, and most times, the best selling items in the U.S might not be the best performers in Canada. Thorough research into the Canadian market should give you an idea of which products to sell to Canadian buyers.
One of the easiest ways to find the best items for the Canadian market is to check the best-selling section of amazon.ca. Alternatively, you can look into using one of the Amazon product research tools available in the market.
2. The currency difference
The Canadian dollar and the U.S dollar differ in value. The Canadian dollar’s value is lower compared to the U.S dollar, so you can’t price products on amazon.ca the same way you price them on amazon.com. You need to work out your maths when selling on amazon.ca to avoid incurring losses from fluctuating exchange rates.
3. Shipping and inventory
Canada is a sparsely populated country with a population density of 4 people per square km. The country’s low population density makes it more expensive to ship and transport products in Canada compared to the U.S. When selling to the Canadian market, you need to maintain a balance between the high shipping costs and the price of your product so that you don’t price yourself out of the market.
4. Shipping options
Amazon.ca gives sellers the option to let Amazon fulfill for them (FBA) or to fulfill themselves (FBM). Between the two, the better option would be Amazon FBA because then Amazon will handle the logistics for you and free you from the hassle of shipping and tracking products. You can still go the FBM way if you can fulfill the orders yourself.
How to get started selling on Amazon Canada
Now that you know what to expect on Amazon.ca, let’s look at how you can get started:
1. Test the waters
If you’re selling on Amazon.com FBA, you probably remember sending in a box or two to test the waters when you were getting started. The same goes for Amazon.ca. Send a box of the product you’re selling to Canada to get a feel of the whole process and see how much it costs.
2. List your product on Amazon.ca
You’ll need to list the product you want to sell to Canada once your shipment arrives at the Amazon warehouse in Canada. Amazon allows sellers to transfer listings from Amazon.com to Amazon.ca. To list your product, go to “add product” on Seller Central and look up the Amazon.com product ASIN. All the product info will be transferred to Amazon.ca, including your buyer reviews.
3. Start using sponsored ads
Turning on sponsored ads for your Amazon.ca listing will help you get your product in front of potential buyers quicker. Sponsored ads on Amazon.ca are also very cheap compared to Amazon.com, so you’ll be getting value for your money when you use them.
4. Monitor the exchange rate regularly
Your listing will be in Canadian dollars, which you’ll then convert to U.S dollars when you transfer money to your bank. The exchange rates keep changing. It makes sense to keep monitoring them at least monthly and adjusting your prices accordingly, so you don’t sell at a loss.
5. Register for a Canadian Business Number
You’ll need a Canadian Business Number to move large shipments from the U.S.A to Canada. It’s the same as the U.S EIN, and it just takes a few minutes to apply by filling this form. Once you fill the form, you should get the number in 10 days.
Amazon.ca might not be as popular as Amazon.co is in the U.S, but this will change in a few years, judging by the e-commerce growth rate in Canada. The best time to expand your Amazon selling business to Canada would be now before everyone else starts to focus on the Canadian market. When selling to Canada becomes a trend, and everyone is scrambling to get a piece of the Canadian market, you’ll be glad you got in early.