6 Things I Don’t Like About Online Shopping in Canada

6 Things I Don’t Like About Online Shopping in Canada

I don’t buy a printer for the sole purpose of printing return labels

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My goal as a shopping editor is to tackle the obstacles of online shopping to simplify our readers’ journey. That means lots of “doesn’t ship to Canada,” USD prices, endless return labels, and more.

One of our readers wrote to us and asked for a column about ‘annoyances’. They didn’t have to ask twice.

Over the years I have ordered items such as banks, tables, patio furniture and smaller things. Many retailers have mastered the science of online shopping, and for others, there’s a lot of fine print. Here are my top six pet peeves about shopping online in Canada, ranked from least to most annoying. I also offer solutions — it’s not just a rant — it’s a conversation starter.

  1. Show prices in non-local currencies

I’m not a mathematician or a stock market guru. I don’t want to have to start calculating the cost of goods in another currency or figuring out whether to use a US bank account or CAD. If you’re inviting Canadians to shop on your site, show CAD prices. (Many retailers do a great job of showing prices in local currencies, such as Everlane, Reform And Apple.)

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  1. Doesn’t ship to Canada but you tell me too late

I understand if a site doesn’t ship to Canada, but it annoys me when some items do and others don’t and I don’t find out until I’m ready to check out. Take note ecommerce sites: label items accordingly.

  1. A printer is required to return items

The only reason I have a printer is for return labels — so I don’t have one. I pride myself when I do a return, but usually end up with unwanted items. It’s great if there’s a store that’s connected to an ecommerce store for in-person returns, but that’s not always the case. I suggest that shippers print the return label on the back of the shipping label so buyers can easily return or Amazon’s New Returns Policy.

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  1. Create an account to shop

I don’t want to create an account to buy pants. Some sites have “check out as a guest” which is great if it provides an electronic trail to prove the product was purchased. I also don’t want to sign up for your newsletter (but you certainly should Sign up for ours.)

  1. Unable to contact support

When I have questions about a product, I don’t want to email support and get an automated response. I want a phone number so I can call someone directly and not wait on hold for an hour. It’s often a hunt to find the “contact us” button and then the journey of filling out a contact form or finding an email address begins.

  1. Pop-ups

I don’t want to spin to win. I don’t want to talk to your AI chatbot. I still don’t want to sign up for your newsletter. I just want to click on what I want and check out in under a minute. If I have to find a gray “close” button or “x” on a pop-up, I’m already disappointed.

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Sites That Are Good At E-Commerce

I find the best online shopping experiences are e-commerce first brands — especially Canadian ones. For example, two Canadian furniture brands, Pleasant And Silk & Snowstarted as e-commerce only brands and only recently opened retail space.

I have a preference for Canadian brands because I want them to be successful, but I also like international brands that make the shopping experience local. Everlanea fashion brand, makes online shopping easy and smooth. Amazon makes shopping super easy, especially with Firstand returns has now become a lot easier.

Call me a hypocrite, but I suggest you sign up for our Shopping Essentials Newsletter so you can suggest articles you’d like to read or conversations you’d like to start.

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