According to a UPS Canada survey, 62 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find that e-commerce plays a critical role in their business. Findings from the Small Business Challenges survey indicate that a company’s website (64 per cent) and Facebook (40 per cent) are the most frequently used e-commerce channels.

“What we’re hearing from our customer’s corresponds with the data . . . ,” says Jim Bena, UPS Canada. “E-commerce is a prominent component of business and customers are expecting a seamless experience across multiple channels.”

“Four out of five SMEs surveyed engage in e-commerce and we are seeing innovative approaches being taken to tackle challenges such as regulatory obstacles,” adds Bena.

One such regulatory challenge is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which became effective July 1. CASL ensures consent when commercial electronic messages are sent to Canadians. Fifty-three per cent of respondents indicated that the time and cost associated with managing new regulations such as CASL is impeding their business growth.

Of the survey respondents, 48 per cent say they have a plan in place to address CASL.

Additional findings from the UPS Canada Small Business Challenges survey:

  • 35 per cent report CASL and other regulatory challenges have forced their business to develop new ways of marketing their product to customers
  • Email and in-store/in-person interactions (both at 23 per cent) and Twitter were cited as the most frequently used e-commerce tools behind a corporate website and Facebook
  • 75 per cent anticipate mobile and digital communications, including e-commerce, to be essential to the future competitiveness of their business