Canada Post offers $1m in postal prizes for ecommerce innovators

Canada Post is launching a new awards programme to recognise innovation in the Canadian ecommerce market, offering postal prize packages worth a total of $1m. The awards – and prizes – will be shared out among five categories, including best multi-channel retailer, best online retailer, best new e-business, “Outside the Box” achievement and consumer champion.

Separate prizes in the multi-channel and online retailer categories are to be awarded to large retailers and small retailers.

Ecommerce retailers of any size will be eligible for the awards if they ship to Canadian consumers – even if they do not ship with Canada Post – if entries are submitted by 20 August. Winners will be announced at a gala event on 16 October in Toronto.

Canada Post said the prizes for winners will comprise free shipping contracts worth up to $100,000, a $50,000 direct mail marketing campaign and advertising on Canada Post trucks and facilities.

Promoting successes

Canada is lagging in the Internet economy, Canada Post believes – it represents 4.8% of the country’s GDP compared to 7.4% in the US – and the company sees “tremendous opportunities” in promoting and encouraging growth in the sector.

Deepak Chopra, the Canada Post president and chief executive, said his company was aiming to inspire entrepreneurs to create “a whole new e-economy” for Canadians.

“More and more Canadians are ordering goods online, making business-to-consumer the fastest growing sector in ecommerce or retail, but there is a lot of room for growth before Canadians close the gap between them and consumers in the US or UK,” said Chopra.

“We know that there are still challenges for e-retailing in Canada and we think Canada Post can help by recognising and promoting successes.”

Canada Post says more than $8bn worth of physical goods are ordered online in Canada each year (the Canadian dollar is roughly equivalent to the US dollar at current exchange rates) for residential deliveries, forecast to grow to more than $15bn by 2016.

Spending on business-to-consumer ecommerce shipping reached more than $600m in 2011, the Crown Corporation said.

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