Amazon.com Finally Points Canadians To Amazon.ca

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As One Degree Contributor “Ryan McKegney”:http://www.onedegree.ca/category/ryan-mckegney “pointed out”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/04/14/canadians-top-100-sites-revealed back in April, Amazon’s own “Alexa Service”:http://www.alexa.com/ tells us that “amazon.com”:http://www.amazon.com/ gets much more traffic than the Canada-specific “amazon.ca”:http://www.amazon.ca/.
Doing a check of Alexa’s “Top Sites Canada”:http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=CA&ts_mode=country&lang=none list today shows that *Amazon.com is the 19th most visited site by Canadian Alexa users while amazon.ca comes in at a humble 59th.*
It seems that Amazon also noticed that loads of us Canucks are still using the US site and they are now doing something about it – in a very helpful, Amazon kind of way.
Take a look:
amazoncomsendstoca.png
As you can see, when you are in Canada and using the Amazon.com site you now get an additional piece of navigation gently pointing you to the site you are supposed to be using.
This is really smart.
Clearly Amazon is using geo-targeting based on IP address to identify Canadians. They _could_ have simply redirected all traffic from the Great White North to the .ca site, but they have chosen a less intrusive approach. Since the sites differ in content and features there are legitimate reasons why Canadians might _want_ to be on the US site. _But,_ when it comes time to _order_ the product Canadians will generally prefer the Canadian site for local pricing and shipping.
Now the redirection is not perfect. At this time there seem to be two types of links – one points you to a similar search result on the Canadian site and the other drops you and the Canadian home page. I would hope and expect that over time Amazon will figure out how to take you directly to the product in your local version of their site.
Here’s what the “generic” version of the link looks like in action:
amazoncomsendstocageneric.png
I’m not sure if this will have much impact on Canadian online retailers but I’m sure it will help Amazon in collecting up Canadian lost sheep how have wandered too far from pasture.
Any examples of international retailers working to move Canadians to Canada-specific sites?

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4 thoughts on “Amazon.com Finally Points Canadians To Amazon.ca

  1. Kevin Speicher

    A couple of points:
    Local pricing is not always favourable to Canadians. The publisher of Anderson’s The Long Tail has it listed at $24.95 in the US and $33.95 in Canada – not really in line with current exchange rates. After discounts, that’s $14.97 in the US and $18.67 in Canada. It was much more out of line, until Amazon.ca increased the discount to 45%.
    Amazon.ca continues to source Canadian music through US distributers. You’ll go to buy something from a local Toronto artist and it’s marked as an import and comes from the US label.
    They still haven’t figured out how to us their channels for real international sales – offer me the UK version of the book when it hasn’t been released in North America

  2. Robert Hutton

    Nothing really new here, when Amazon launched the .ca site there was a redirect from .com for almost a year. So it’s not a new thing at all.
    The issue here is being lost – it’s purely an issue of classical marketing fundamentals, primarily centered on the product itself.
    The US site simply has far better selection, and a whopping better chance of the desired items being in stock. The Canadian site loses the advantage of quicker local shipping by not having stock.
    The decline of the US dollar has made the US site’s pricing much more competitive – in fact, in many cases, even factoring in higher shipping, it’s on par or cheaper.
    Last, the Marketplace concept really took off in the US but the Canadian site understandably has yet to offer a strong Marketplace, so customers buying a part Marketplace and a part from the main site will gravitate towards the US site.
    Also, little discussed is the fact that Canada Post cut a deal with Amazon to allow them to drop ship from the US to Canada and generally those shipments aren’t getting nailed with duties & taxes, savvy Amazon buyers know this, eliminating another reason to stick with the .ca site.
    So – better selction, more items available now to ship, better or at least even price, no duties & taxes – well, no wonder people go to th US site. I do.
    A redirect will do little to solve the underlying deficiencies in the fundamentals.

  3. Matthew

    “Also, little discussed is the fact that Canada Post cut a deal with Amazon to allow them to drop ship from the US to Canada and generally those shipments aren’t getting nailed with duties & taxes, savvy Amazon buyers know this, eliminating another reason to stick with the .ca site.”
    I’ve always been annoyed by the lack of selection on the .ca site (I experienced this again on Saturday looking for a home appliance and figured Amazon.ca would have the category by now.. yea right).
    Well, that’s fantastic about duty.. I’m never shopping on the .ca site again!

  4. Francis

    I now always order from Amazon.COM because of the horribly disgusting bilingual Canadian packaging on new DVDs sold by Amazon.ca and all other Canadian retailers. Even though I am a francophone Quebecois, I just cannot tolerate to see french translations and a maple leaf on the packaging of an AMERICAN movie!

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