Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 45

ing updates, and the ability to generate a return
shipping label directly from the website as part
of their Canada Post integration. “Our goal is to
provide the absolute best shopping experience
for our customers across all sales channels,” said
Sam Barnes, Director of e-commerce at Laura
Canada. “The on-site experience, ongoing service,
and quality of fulfillment, are all key to our e-commerce
strategy. OrderDynamics’ integration with
Canada Post’s e-commerce services has proven to
be a feature that our customers are already making
great use of. These integrations helped Laura
immediately achieve several short and long-term
goals for our e-commerce channel,” he added.
Ecommerce Growth
One of the other primary reasons for Laura Can-
ada’s entry into e-commerce is due to the growth
of the sales channel. The 2012 Internet Retailer
Top 500 Guide indicates online apparel sales in
North America are growing at a rate of 22 per
cent annually, while Canadian online sales are
increasing by 14 per cent annually. In looking at
online growth rates from its direct competitors—
ranging from 13 per cent to north of 30 per cent
annually – the Laura Canada team understood the
need to launch a website that wouldn’t only meet
today’s competition, but rather, rival the competitors
of tomorrow. In order to do that, Laura knew
they had to create a website with best of breed ecommerce
functionality that could extend in-store
shopping experiences. “Laura has launched an ecommerce
site that can instantly compete with the
well-known brands that have been running online
operations for years,” said Barnes.
Laura.ca’s multi-channel functionality is also
complimented by the attention to detail that
has gone into extending the level of service and
quality found in its retail stores. The fully bilingual website also
includes a “Shop the Look” feature which enables shoppers to view
and purchase an entire outfit in a single click. Shoppers can also
customize a “look”, or outfit, by removing items in the style, as well
as selecting alternative colours and sizes. In addition, the site features
an interactive store finder that lists individual store hours
and provides directions to each store based on addresses or postal
codes. Shoppers can select any store to act as the default store for
inventory counts and more during future website visits.
Increased Competition
The timing of Laura Canada’s e-commerce debut should come
as no surprise to those following the Canadian retail landscape.
While the company has made huge strides to create a true multichannel
shopping experience that few will be able to match, they
had to do so in part because of the threat of American-based retailers
moving into Canada, both physically and digitally. It’s been well
documented that leading American retailers are identifying Canada
as a new market in which to test international expansion, and
with Target, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales all making their way
to Canada in 2013, it is likely Laura will experience increased instore
competition, especially in major markets. In addition, direct
competitors such as J. Crew and Ann Taylor have been targeting
online Canadian shoppers with significant web-only promotions
including free shipping. While an eMarketer report from 2010 suggests
Canadian online spending into United States online retailers
is dropping in favour of Canadian websites, there is still a good deal
of online business Canadian retailers are missing out on.
Though Laura Canada is well positioned for growth in the com-
ing years, their jump into e-commerce isn’t solely based around
new customer acquisition. Laura Canada, whose success centres
around strong service and customer oriented programs, see their
new online channel as an integral way to support customers with
even more multi-channel features, many of which are set to be
incorporated into their offering in 2013.
As others within the industry might wait to see where or how far
Laura Canada’s e-commerce launch takes them, one thing is clear:
a new standard for cross-channel shopping has been created.
www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer | spring 2013 | canadian retailer | 45
http://www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013

PUBLISHER’S DESK
RETAIL CURRENTS
EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
THE TARGET IMPACT
THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
ADVERTISER'S INDEX
RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 3
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - PUBLISHER’S DESK
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 5
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL CURRENTS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 7
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 8
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 9
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 11
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 13
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 14
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 15
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE TARGET IMPACT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 17
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 18
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 19
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 20
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 21
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 23
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 24
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 25
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 26
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 28
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 29
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 30
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 31
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 33
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 34
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 35
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 37
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 38
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 39
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 41
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 42
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 43
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 44
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ADVERTISER'S INDEX
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 47
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 48
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 49
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 50
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