The EU is the world’s largest importer, accounting for approximately 16% of total world trade (source). When the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was put into practice on September 21st, it gave Canadian companies tariff-free access to 510 million new consumers in 28 European countries:
Austria, Italy, Belgium, Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Malta, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Finland, Romania, France, Slovakia, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
For eCommerce companies, this is huge benefit for a number of reasons:
CETA removes a key conversion barrier
That fee European shoppers have begrudgingly paid for Canadian products is gone. That’s a big deal, and you should shout it from the rooftops on your website. Think about it: overnight, Canadian products (including yours) just became a much better alternative for Euro shoppers. And with the rising anti-American sentiment among Europeans these days, many are already looking to Canadian companies for premium North American products. The fact that they’re now cheaper to buy will only help the cause.
CETA lets you diversify your product line
En masse, Europeans have different tastes than we do. And within Europe, many of the tastes are regional. Focus on regions you think you’d have success in and test your new message and product ideas there. You can split test it in multiple markets at the same time so it’s just right by the time you push hard into Canada and the U.S.
CETA expands your “cool” factor
If the Europeans are doing it, it must be “in.” And they could be buying your product over and over again, sharing it with their friends and, by extension, building your brand globally. And because there are no more costly tariffs, your European clients will be happy to oblige if what you’re offering makes sense to them.
CETA reduces your shipping costs
That fee you’ve had to pay to ship your wares into Europe is gone, freeing up more money to spend on marketing. You might use that money to invest in translation, a euro-targeted Facebook campaign or a few trade shows in your favourite EU countries. Tack on a weekend at either end of the show for a bit of sightseeing — seems silly not to.
Of course, if you’re going to be introducing yourself for the first time, you want to lead with a big offer like FREE SHIPPING. That’s how you build brand affinity with newbies and create customers for life. But how do you do that with overseas shipping? You find a trusted shipping partner with experience shipping across the Atlantic at ridiculously low costs.