WHY we SHOP IN THE U.S. in the first place

If you hang out a border crossing most weekends, you will witness carloads of Canadian shoppers making their way to and from the US, on a shopping trip. Shopping in the U.S. is a major reason why Canadians go south of the border.

According to a report from Statistics Canada, cross-border shopping totaled an impressive $8 billion in sales in 2012 alone, a 72 per-cent jump in annual sales from just six years earlier.

more choice

Let’s face it: the selection of U.S. retailers often just feels better. The U.S. consumer culture has created a veritable smorgasbord of stores catering to every buyer’s desire. And if shoppers can’t bear to face the crowds on the showroom floor, most major U.S. retailers offer robust websites to hawk all their wares online.

Whether you’re hunting for the perfect pair of shoes or the newest smartphone model, the American market offers dozens of retailers specializing in every possible product.

comparing side by side

Online shopping makes comparison shopping a million times easier. You can compare brands and prices with just a few strokes of the keyboard. This is a major benefit of online shopping in general: the ability to compare similar products across a variety of retailers to find the best price.

Shoppers can compare prices, models and brands across a variety of retailers online easily and conveniently without ever leaving their home. And for those who prefer brick-and-mortar stores, American’s affinity for outlet malls allows shoppers to hunt for comparable brands and bargains all in the same geographic location as well. Let’s be honest, we all love a good outlet mall.

customer reviews are easy to find

Not sure about the sizing on that sweater in your online shopping cart? Or worried that the quality of that new appliance isn’t up to snuff?

Shopping with U.S. retailers online allows buyers to read up on the products and see what other consumers have to say about them – instantly. Try doing that in a bricks and mortar store. Not quite so easy.

the prices are better

This is the primary reason most bargain-hunters head south: lower prices. Up until very recently, the Canadian dollar has hovered almost on parity with the U.S. dollar, giving Canadian consumers more buying power as they hit up American retailers.

According to CBC, Canadians generally pay a far higher price than their American counterparts for the same products if they shop in Canada. We encounter markups between 10 and 50 per cent higher than in American retail stores. And that massive markup is often what drives frustrated consumers to shop online or across the border.

Frequent sales, seasonal discounts and tax-free shopping are additional reasons Canadian bargain-hunters are spending their dollars with U.S. retailers. Stores serve up sales for almost every holiday on the calendar with deep discounts on merchandise, allowing shoppers to purchase their essentials for less.

  • Growth through innovation/creativity:
    Rather than be constrained by ideas for new products, services and new markets coming from just a few people, a Thinking Corporation can tap into the employees.
  • Increased profits:
    The corporation will experience an increase in profits due to savings in operating costs as well as sales from new products, services and ventures.
  • Higher business values:
    The link between profits and business value means that the moment a corporation creates a new sustainable level of profit, the business value is adjusted accordingly.
  • Lower staff turnover:
    This, combined with the culture that must exist for innovation and creativity to flourish, means that new employees will be attracted to the organization.