What do I need to know about online sales?

E-commerce is selling goods and services online. E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry and is one of the most exciting opportunities digital technology offers Canadian businesses. In 2012, Canadian retailers made over $7 billion in online sales. That number is expected to grow. Online sales can offer a number of advantages to both businesses and consumers.

For consumers, e-commerce offers:

Businesses can benefit from offering consumers these advantages, and can also benefit from:

Entering the online marketplace brings with it a separate set of responsibilities and concerns. Doing business online means accepting payments online. This involves a digital exchange of sensitive information that will need to be properly secured.

Beyond digital concerns, there are considerations and necessary permits and permissions to obtain in order to do business inter-provincially or internationally. It is also important to consider whether your business can meet the demands of doing business online, such as packaging, handling and delivery.

Ultimately, e-commerce is a fast growing sector with many opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) and consumer transactions. Digital literacy could be your key to taking part in this growing sector.

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