Canadians love to shop. We’re not just hitting the malls on the still-fresh Black Friday, we’re up late under the covers shopping online. The top e-commerce sites in the country are American owned, with Amazon, Apple and Walmart leading the pack.
Our e-purchases are mostly focused on goods, like electronics or household items, and not on groceries. However, there are signs that this may be slowly changing, even though the majority of Canadians are still reluctant to buy groceries online. Before this happens, consumers need to change their perspective on e-commerce in general.
There are a number of reasons behind our shyness with buying produce online. For one thing, studies show that we are happier enjoying a coffee and shopping at the mall – at least, those of us who aren’t afraid of crowds. We like to feel clothes, look up close to check quality and try things on. With produce, it’s the same idea.
Security is a Top Concern for Canadians
We don’t have the luxury of touch and smell on the Internet, as we do in real life. Let’s face it – buying fruits and veg in person can be a pleasure. But senses aside, Canadians are notoriously uneasy about making payments online because of security concerns. This remains the largest stumbling block for online retailers in the country, especially when it comes to convincing consumers to do their weekly grocery run from their PCs.
Rachel Yokum of the online security company, Symantec, recently cited a statistic that 83 percent of online users worry about identity theft while completing credit card transactions. If that’s so, companies like Loblaw, who launched an online shopping service last year, will have to convince consumers’ that buying fresh online is worth the potential risk. Better yet, that there isn’t a reason to fear e-commerce at all.
Other companies have responded by offering alternatives to credit cards for e-commerce purchases. The pre-paid option by payment company paysafecard is gaining momentum as a trusted alternative to credit cards. Since users load the card using cash, no personal information is needed to complete a transaction. For online grocery purchases, transferring a cash model onto the Internet could make more sense to consumers. After all, who wants to run the risk of having their account hacked for a liter of milk?
How do you feel about buying groceries online?