Ahead of the holiday shopping season, PayPal is making the global marketplace more accessible to Canadian small businesses with the launch of PassPort, a website designed to help small businesses sell internationally. On the PassPort website, entrepreneurs can find export market specific guidance on seasonal sales peaks including holidays and events; cultural customs, taboos and trends; shipping and distribution logistics; currency exchange and fees; and customs procedures and taxes.
A recent Internet Association report highlighted that only three per cent of the Canadian retail economy is online as compared to 23 per cent in the United Kingdomi. By selling online, a world of opportunity awaits exporters and businesses that are willing to find online cross-border shoppers who desire Canadian-made products and services. With the launch of PassPort, PayPal is leading the call for Canadian small businesses to capitalize on the expected surge in cross-border trade over the holiday season by understanding how to engage with international shoppers.
"Small business owners know that reaching a global market can exponentially increase their sales, but many aren't sure where to start," said Cameron Schmidt, General Manager, PayPal Canada. "We designed PassPort with our international insights to help small businesses tap into global sales opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible."
One PassPort to a World of Opportunities
Businesses using PassPort will gain insight into the traditions, trends and taboos around the world, allowing them to look beyond traditional peak selling days and discover country-specific sales opportunities. In China, Singles Day, held every November, is the single largest online shopping day and is expected to generate over CAD 11 billionii this year. Information on additional top global retail holidays – like Golden Week in Japan and Click Frenzy in Australia – will help businesses understand how they can target their sales to certain markets and reach more potential customers.
Made in Canada, Loved All Over the World.
Commerce is connecting people from across the globe. The world is eager to buy high quality "Made in Canada" products. The PayPal Modern Spice Routes dataiii reveals that the Great White North is a must-shop spot, ranking Canada as the fourth most popular online cross-border shopping destination across the U.S., U.K, Germany, Australia, China and Brazil. These six markets purchased a combined CAD 6.4 billioniii worth of Canadian goods in 2013. A 192 per cent growth in the number of cross-border shoppers from these six countries is expected by 2018. At the same, the demand for Canadian products from these markets is expected to grow to CAD 12.8 billioniii in the next four years.
Many of these sales come from our neighbours to the south who rank Canada as their third most popular overseas online shopping destination. By 2018, 14.2 million American shoppers are expected to purchase CAD 11.4 billioniii worth of Canadian goods. In that same time, sales will also float in from across the pond where 1.7 million English shoppers are likely to spend CAD 524 millioniii on Canadian-made goods.
Fashion products, automotive parts and website services rank as the country's top three cross-border trading small business industries according to cross-border sales data from PayPal Canada. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal feature as the country's leading small business online export cities. Calgary ranks top of the list for photography and gaming online cross-border trade sales, and London, Ontario ranks third in travel sales, above even Torontoiv.
Local Roots Global Success
Three examples of small businesses that have achieved success by selling internationally are Penzu and CanadaTheStore.com, both based in Toronto, and Whistle & Flute based in Vancouver.
"In five years, we've grown our customers from zero to over a million in 170 markets around the world," said Alexander Mimran, President & Founder of Penzu, which uses PayPal to offer users from around the world secure payments to capture their thoughts in an online journal. "When we launched, it was important to find a payment option that was easy to use for us, and our customers regardless of where they lived, and PayPal was the obvious choice."
Last year, global trade accounted for approximately 25 per cent of PayPal's global total payment volume. According to PayPal Modern Spice Routes data, close to eight out of ten cross-border online shoppers in the U.S., UK, Germany, Brazil, China and Australia choose PayPal as their preferred method of global payment. Many of those shoppers mention PayPal's buyer protection policy as the reason they were more willing to complete a cross-border transaction, a feeling that is echoed the world over.
Apparel company Whistle & Flute Clothing seized the digital opportunity in 2013 and now sees 60 per cent of their sales from overseas markets. "We didn't even know we had an audience in Southeast Asia," says Miranda McCullagh, Co-founder, Whistle & Flute Clothing. "Using PayPal has made it easier for customers and wholesalers around the world who shop with us. It's really opened our doors to an international audience."
"When we first started our online business on Canada Day in 2012, PayPal was the most logical choice," explained Stanley Cooper, President, CanadaTheStore.com. "Utilizing PayPal's technology, we've sold Made in Canada items to the far stretches of the globe. Food items, especially maple, are high in demand in the United States, Great Britain and Australia. We've also sold kayaks and canoes to customers in Australia."