Kerri Connolly Director Partner Development, Global Partner Solutions
May 06,2021

Reimagining commerce – Canadian partners get creative with ecommerce solutions

Written for App builders and other solution-providers, this post focuses on the Canadian ecommerce partner opportunity in 2021. Read on for an update on Canada’s ecommerce adoption, examples of ecommerce best practices, and resources to make the most from your Microsoft partnership. 

Canadian Ecommerce Update

StatsCan reports that the pandemic caused retail sales to fall 17.9 percent in early 2020, but at the same time, retail ecommerce sales soared—nearly doubling to 99.3 percent. Clearly, the pandemic dramatically accelerated the demand to buy online.

Statista data confirms the rapid pace of growth, projecting Canadian ecommerce revenue to grow from US$ 25.4 billion in 2019 to US$ 33.3 billion in 2024.

And it’s not just packaged goods retailers. Canadian organizations providing services also leveraged technology to transact online, including curbside delivery. While some businesses are riding out the storm, others are reinventing their operations for remote work and social distancing.

Your customers’ perception

Now, consider the target audience for your solution.  Not the users—but the decision-makers who consider and approve the purchase.

  1. What do they think and feel about ecommerce?
  2. How well did their organization adapt to the pandemic?
  3. Have they struggled to digitize and adopt new practices?
  4. What’s their ecommerce strategy? Do they even have one?
  5. Do they have in-house technical expertise?

This last question represents a point of entry for many partners and their solutions. For some businesses, and even industries, ecommerce still represents very unfamiliar territory. It may appear too daunting, or they may perceive it as a threat to their business model.

Talk to your customers and prospects about your solution in the context of their “needs and wants” and the reality of their business culture.

Demonstrating curiosity and customer empathy opens the door to innovation and opportunity. For instance, you may want to “white label” your solution that customers can brand and integrate in their customer experience. Or you may uncover, like Microsoft partner SPUD.ca, a huge, untapped business-to-business market opportunity.

SPUD.ca shows how its done

SPUD.ca, is a local organic food e-tailor in western Canada. Built on Microsoft Azure, they use AI (Artificial Intelligence) and other advanced technologies to deliver groceries with almost zero waste. They earned numerous consumer awards and continue to grow quickly across Canada thanks to their ethical and creative approach to e-tailing and delivering organic groceries from local farms to your table.

That is the consumer side of their story. Under their FoodX brand, the same company works with retailers, most notably Walmart, to enable local grocery delivery as part of their customer ecommerce experience. FoodX is now working with major retailers to take on all kinds of sustainability innovations using advanced tech.

Their innovative approach includes partnering with companies like Attabotics. This Calgary-based company’s platform provides a robotic warehousing and fulfillment system. Inspired by the framework of ant colonies, Attabotics introduces a patented storage structure and robotics shuttles that utilize horizontal and vertical space. By looking at storage challenges from a robotic-centric storage and retrieval perspective, their goods to person system delivers amazing new efficiencies.

Adobe drives B2B ecommerce

Adobe, another valued Microsoft partner, has successfully reinvented its customer experience with ecommerce at the center. A few years ago, the company made the strategic decision to make Azure its preferred cloud and ecommerce platform. And, they have never looked back. With Azure providing a fast, reliable, and secure customer experience for its suite of applications and services.

 Adobe now focuses on advancing digital transformation, including enabling ecommerce, as B2B services that drive consumption of their Adobe Experience Cloud. This platform offers a unified digital commerce, order management, and predictive intelligence—all designed to reinvent and improve the customer experience.

Ecommerce is not just about etailing to consumers. The SPUD.ca and Adobe stories are just two examples of the bigger B2B ecom opportunity.

Join the ecommerce revolution

Microsoft strives to empower developers and solution-builders to pursue the ecommerce opportunity.

That commitment starts with cloud services. Embrace the flexibility, scale, and power of the Azure and Azure services. Get access to the most secure hosting environment and all the frameworks, technologies, and services of your choice at your fingertips. You can always try Azure for free.

Why Azure?

  1. 200 products and cloud services designed to help you innovate
  2. 90+ compliance offerings – the largest portfolio in the industry
  3. 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Azure
  4. US $1 billion – the amount Microsoft spends on security each year

Then unlock the power of a Microsoft partner relationship. Leverage the company’s app marketplaces to reach 4 million monthly customers. Get technical support and business guidance for your application development journey. Pursue and close leads with Microsoft co-sales.

Get Started

Check out the “Get Started Guide for ISVs”   

  1. Build Future-Ready Applications
  2. Energize Your Growth
  3. Create new routes to market