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The Impact of Mobile & eCommerce in Canada (INTERVIEW)

Andrea Stairs, Country Manager, eBay Canada
Taylor Keefe
March 18th, 2013
Earlier this month Dx3 played host to some of the most exciting digital companies in Canada. A wide range came out to support the conference, while speakers ranging from entrepreneurs to executives discussed Canada’s ever-changing and rapidly-growing digital landscape. Major themes threading through keynotes and conversations were the impact of mobile purchases and the state of e-commerce in Canada. We caught up with Andrea Stairs, Country Manager for eBay Canada, to get her take on mobile, e-commerce and the role of storytelling in marketing.

3 Questions with Andrea Stairs

1. Mobile is more important to brands than ever before. What has eBay Canada done to prepare for the mobile takeover?

eBay Canada has been investing in digital and mobile for several years, especially on the marketing side. It’s no secret that personal devices impact consumer behavior. What we’ve done is tried to make the path to purchase seamless with our website and apps. In 2010, we did about $2 billion in sales, and in 2012, that number jumped to $13 billion. We estimate about one-third of purchases are mobile affected.

Also, it’s important to remember that consumers want to shop on their own terms and when it’s most convenient for them. We want to provide platforms to make that process are easy as possible.

2. If Big Data was a popular tool for marketers in 2012, what trend do you see impacting digital for 2013?

You know, I think Big Data was just so much for people to wrap their heads around that it will be just as impactful this year. People are still trying to execute against Big Data; it’s a new skillset for a lot of companies.

In Canada, I can see there being a lot more focus in mobile, a lot more focus and excitement in e-commerce -- inventories, suppliers, retailers all coming together to embrace e-commerce. But I think the real trend, and this goes back to what I said earlier, is the idea of the consumer being in charge of when, where and how they want to shop.

3. In your opinion, what is more important for the modern marketer: creative storytelling skills OR analytical data-driven insights?

I think it’s a bit of a false dichotomy. I mean, for us, we really do know all the elements of a transaction; we’re extremely tied to the data. On the other hand, when we launched our first Canadian pop-up shop in Toronto late last year, we really wanted to tie that experience to a story and illustrate the ease of mobile shopping. Storytelling is an important factor for any marketer, but it has to be intuitive.
References: dx3canada, facebook