This week at eCOM MTL, Alexandre Gagnon, the Vice-President of Amazon Canada and Amazon Mexico, spoke about Amazon’s underrepresentation in Quebec markets. Here are 4 possible reasons for explaining this phenomenon which, honestly, is about to change.

1. Fair, not exceptional pricing.

Books aside, prices on Amazon.ca are often similar to those of Canadian retailers. This undermines Amazon’s reputation for “unbeatable prices.” The example below shows the difference between an item on Amazon.ca ($62.36 CDN) and Amazon.com ($32.99 US). As we write these words, the Bosch drill can also be purchased online from a Canadian retailer for $49.99 (CAD).

 

While this example doesn’t take into account the different currencies or pricing in the two markets, when it comes to online shopping, perception matters.


2. The Francophone Factor.

Amazon has experienced a major lag time while working to figure out the right translation technology. If the translation is off, searching becomes frustrating. If consumers can’t find, they can’t buy. But that barrier is crumbling. Amazon is now using machine translation to offer additional language to customers:

 

 

3. Amazon hasn’t fully decoded Quebec consumption habits.

Alexandre Gagnon, Vice-President of Amazon Canada says, “My conclusion is that collectively (and I include Amazon in this), we have not done a sufficient job to satisfy the Quebecois consumer.”

For retailers in a similar position, we recommend a book called “The Quebec Code,” which reveals 7 identity traits unique to the Quebecois based on research conducted over a 30-year span.

 

 

4. Prime is sub-prime… for now.

Prime membership in the US grants same-day delivery privileges like reduced prices on “Prime Day” and exclusive media content. Few of these offerings are available in Quebec.

Only 2 Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) currently offer same-day delivery. So for the Quebecois, $79 a year gets them access to 2-day shipping and that’s it.

We predict that once Prime offers more perks, memberships and purchase volume in Quebec will rise.

 

 

“When I look at the sales numbers by province, there is an underrepresentation in Quebec. This means that we have lots of opportunities.”
— Alexandre Gagnon, Vice-President Amazon Canada and Amazon Mexico at the 7th edition of eCOM MTL on September 13th.

Every Retailer in Québec Needs to Get Ready, Now.

Amazon disrupts markets. B2C and B2B companies in Quebec should be prepared to weather the storm.

Preparing for the Storm Entails 2 Tactics:

  1. Set yourself up to sell products on Amazon. This will allow you to remain competitive once the Quebec market opens further.
  2. eCommerce companies need to up their user experience game with:
        • faster shipping speeds
        • solid and reliable customer service
        • lightning fast site speed
        • a large assortments of products
        • filters for wading through those products
        • bundling functionalities (“you might like this item…”)
        • and in-depth product information.

Amazon’s weak presence in Quebec is about to get stronger. Absolunet can help you bridge the marketplace gap.

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