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Oh, Canada!

Want to jump into the international market? Meet our friendly neighbor to the north.

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This story appears in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Although Canadians still lag a bit behind U.S. consumers when it comes to online shopping, that's starting to change. According to an April J.C. Williams Group survey of Canadians who had shopped online in the past six months, 32 percent made five or more purchases, and 68 percent made one to four purchases. Canadian e-commerce is growing substantially as well, with e-commerce sales totaling $32.4 billion ($39.2 billion CAD) in 2005, up 38.4 percent from 2004.

"U.S. retailers are looking for expansion possibilities internationally, and Canada is a friendly way to test systems and processes in an initial expansion strategy," says Maris Daugherty, senior consultant of multichannel practice at J.C. Williams Group in Chicago. "In addition, U.S. retailers are not too far from home, there is untapped demand in Canada and many Canadian retailers have not yet included e-commerce in their sales channels."

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