Essay Sample on E-Commerce in Canada

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  930 Words
Date:  2022-06-23


Like many other economies across the globe, e-commerce has experienced exponential growth over the last decade in Canada. Canadian consumers no longer need to walk into shopping malls to make purchasers due to the deployment of virtual assistants and chatbots, mobile phones and click and collect platforms to drive growth through the internet (Research and Markets, 2015). Business organizations continue to devise new ways of reaching out customers online by designing individualized adverts seeking to market their products as they strive to take advantage of the massive online presence of Canadian customers. Despite the reduced cost of shopping, the e-commerce industry continues to experience challenges such as customer information security, online fraud, and unauthorized use of customer information.

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The widespread use of the internet and smartphones enables users to access various websites of online retail companies with incredibly low cost. Migration to mobile phone shopping has been witnessed in Canada over the past few years, and the trend is expected to continue in the few years. The payment methods include text messages, USSDs, code-based and web-based payments (Freeman, 2015). The new payment methods have significantly reduced the cost of shopping by creating convenience with which customers buy goods from the stores. According to Freeman (2015), mobile payments are expected to provide great opportunities for both the consumer and corporate institutions in the next decade. Thus, it can be predicted that, with the emergent technology of Internet of Things, mobile phone technology would create an exceptional shopping experience in the coming years. However, online shopping continues to experience various challenges.

Hybrid purchasing (also referred to as click and collect) is a common purchasing practice in Canada, and it entails ordering goods online and thereafter picking them at a brick and mortar store(Tod, 2017). The purchasing of items online has the disadvantage of lack of a proper view and assessment of the goods by the customers. That is, the pictorial representation of items that are being purchased on the internet may not satisfy the customer's physical conceptualization of the product. Equally, customers often end up buying goods that do not necessarily meet their needs due to the ease with which orders are placed (Tod, 2017; Ion, 2017). Although a small number of online retailers have enacted policies that ensure customers return goods that do not meet their specifications, most of these organizations maintain strict rules in this regard. The majority does not bear the risk of returns or products that fail to meet the expectations of the client. These outcomes make the whole online shopping experience a risk affair.

Fraud related to online shopping has created concerns for retailers. The art of shopping involves divulging personal information (such as credit card and bank details) onto the cyberspace which cybercriminals often steal and use it harm to customers. Despite the various tools that have been developed by online retailers to safeguard the information of the client, the fact that such retail that no 100 percent foolproof technology is available in the market, makes online shopping risky (Colwell, 2016). For one, it has been reported that hackers often steal personal information to commit criminal activities such as authorizing fraudulent transactions from the bank accounts of the customers. Moreover, information stolen from the customers may be used to bully or blackmail customers, rendering the online shopping experience untenable and non-beneficial. With smart technology taking shape, risks customers encounter online are likely to increase soon.

Marketing behaviors also harm customers who shop online. Business firms have invested heavily in online sales and marketing through social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to sustain their sales revenue amid stiff competition. To reach more customers, these firms harvest customers' information without their express knowledge. The data obtained is then used to tailor ads based on their browsing history to influence them to buy given products or manipulate their spending habits (Pogue, 2015; Miners, 2014). Indeed, the Report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology indicated that some companies even instruct buyers to install certain programs, which are difficult to delete, to help them harvest customer information. Additionally, some applications such as Google Home and Amazon Echo lure customers to make unintended purchases (Ion, 2017). The highlighted behaviors not only violate the privacy of customers but also contribute to unwanted financial inconveniences. Given these corporate behaviors, Miners (2014) reckons that more legislation would be enacted to protect the interests of consumers.


In conclusion, e-commerce has fundamentally changed the way in which customers shop. The widespread use of the internet and smartphones has enabled shoppers to conveniently buy goods with the tap of a phone or click of a button. This has created a new customer experience never witnessed before. However, purchasing goods online may not be a reliable method of obtaining the appropriate goods and services required. Further, shopping online has led to increased cases of fraud due to the theft of customer information. Moreover, online retailers have been found violating privacy rules through unauthorized access to customer information or manipulative activities on social media networks. These challenges suggest that evolving legislation is needed to protect consumers from predatory activities of cybercriminals and business firms.


Colwell, J. (2016). Tips to improve cyber security, protect finances. Urology Times, 44(7), 30-32.

Freeman, S. (2015). The mobile-payment landscape. Toronto Star [Toronto].

Ion, F. (2017). How to stop Google Home and Amazon Echo from making unwanted online purchases. PCWorld, 35(9), 107-111.

Miners, Z. (2014). Facebook privacy questions resurface. PCWorld, 32(12), 23-27.

Pogue, D. (2015). Truth in digital advertising. Scientific American, 312(5), 32-32.

Research and Markets. (2015). Canada set to outpace USA in B2C E-commerce growth. M2PressWIRE.

Tod, O. (2018). Is online shopping bad for you? Scholastic action, 41(6), 4-7.

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