Windsor tops Ontario’s online sales list


Eighty-one percent of local businesses sell online, according to a new report.

Officials at tech firm Square say businesses in Windsor are best prepared in Ontario to generate additional online sales as the holiday shopping season approaches.

“Maple products are very popular online,” says Katie Stokes, co-owner of Whiskey Jack Boutique.

Stokes says their Maiden Lane store sells many Canadian products online and virtual sales have been a priority since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has really caused us to focus more on our online store than we originally would have,” Stokes said. “Being able to sell 24/7 even when we’re not in the store is really helpful for a small business. “

According to Square economist Felipe Chacon, the lack of American buyers has made it essential.

“The tendency to move online and the tendency to move away from cash have jumped three to five years depending on where you are,” says Chacon.

Chacon says the share of businesses selling online in Windsor was higher than in most cities before the pandemic.

“Now it has moved up to number one across Canada among the 30 or so subways we reviewed. “

Chacon says the rate of local Windsor-area businesses now selling online far exceeds the national average of 58 percent. New Ontario data from Square shows that 63% of Ontario businesses are now selling online and Niagara / St. The Catharine region has Ontario’s fastest growing business community that moves online.

“We are seeing a consistent trend with border towns tending to slightly increase the share of businesses selling online,” Chacon said. “There seems to be a pattern of geographic isolation where cities that are more remote or that are an international border where there maybe not as easy a flow of traffic, especially after the pandemic, appear to have increased online sales more than other places. “

Chacon believes most companies are offering online offerings to reach a wider audience, noting that customers now expect online options.

“Everything from curbside pickup to QR codes is just a convenience that people now expect after the pandemic.”

Top cities in Ontario selling the most online at the end of August 2021:

  • Windsor 81 percent
  • Norfolk 68 percent
  • Ottawa 66 percent
  • Hamilton 64 percent
  • Kitchener-Waterloo 63 percent
  • Toronto 60 percent

According to Square, October is the busiest month for businesses growing online for the holiday and winter sales season.

Chacon told CTV News that the food, beverage and retail industries were the first to jump into online spaces, but home repair businesses have taken longer.

“Even home and repair type businesses over the last few months have started to feel the pull of the Internet more and I think it’s the product of their customers who expect these options.”


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