U.S. Retailers Leverage Surging Canadian Dollar to Aggressively Market Online Retail Cross-Border Shopping

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Canadian online shopping activity expected to surpass projections. While this could spell great returns for American retailers in the competitive fourth quarter, the ultimate winner should be the Canadian consumer according to online shopping authorities at airmilesshops.ca.

Canadian-based portals to U.S. retailers offer even more value to Canadian online shoppers by providing useful features, such as product search tools, special offers and in the case of, www.airmilesshops.ca, the added value of a popular Canadian-based benefit - Air Miles reward miles on all purchases.

With the crucial holiday shopping period just around the corner, savvy U.S. retailers plan to take advantage of parity between the U.S. and Canadian dollar for the first time in 31 years to shift Canadian spending preferences online. While this could spell great returns for retailers in the competitive fourth quarter, the ultimate winner should be the Canadian consumer according to online shopping authorities at airmilesshops.ca.

"As the Canadian dollar gains strength, Canadian shoppers are realizing the advantages of online shopping," says Emmie Fukuchi, General Manager of http://www.airmilesshops.ca. "Our U.S. retail partners have seen a steady climb in activity ever since the dollar hit the $0.80US mark two years ago. With parity, they expect to see an increase in cross-border online shopping that outperforms initial projections for the year."

According to a January 2007 report by eMarketer, 12 million Canadians shopped online and 9 million bought products or services over the internet in 2006 totaling $9.4 billion in sales on product and services (including travel bookings). A 2006 Statistics Canada report estimates that historically 63 per cent of these transactions were with Canadian vendors while 37 per cent were with retailers in the U.S.

"2007 was expected to be a year of accelerated growth for online shopping in Canada, and with our dollar reaching parity and climbing, we should expect to see an increase in both the total spend of Canadians online, and the total number of Canadians shopping online," added Fukuchi. "U.S. retailers are also picking up on this trend by adjusting their strategies accordingly with discount offers for Canadian customers or by waiving service or shipping charges."

"As a result of increased traffic online, Canadian retailers should experience a halo effect and benefit from the sheer volume of online activity throughout the busy fall and holiday shopping season," says Fukuchi. "With increased competition, we should see better offers and pricing for consumers as well as value-added customer service and an overall improvement to online customer experience across the board."

Jim Okumura, senior partner with Toronto-based e-commerce consultancy J.C. Williams Group Ltd., stated that, "Canadian-based portals to U.S. retailers offer even more value to Canadian online shoppers by providing useful features, such as product search tools, special offers and in the case of, http://www.airmilesshops.ca, the added value of a popular Canadian-based benefit - Air Miles reward miles on all purchases."

Canadians can visit http://www.airmilesshops.ca to make purchases at leading North American brands like J.Crew, Bose, Brookstone, Lands' End and Victoria's Secret while saving time, gas and travel expenses and avoiding the hassles of border crossing line-ups.

In recent years, Canadians have been purchasing a wider variety of goods online with clothing, jewelry, sporting goods and toys among the fastest growing categories. Traditional online purchase such as books, CDs and DVDs, personal electronics are more popular than ever.

About http://www.airmilesshops.ca:
Airmilesshops.ca, the Air Miles Online Shopping Mall, was launched in 2003 (as YourShops.ca) for Canadian online shoppers and brings together more than 90 of the best North American fashion, entertainment, consumer electronics, travel, home décor, lifestyle and gift retailers in one online destination. Sites include chapters.indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, Dell.ca, Victoria's Secret, Lands' End and Toys "R" Us. airmilesshops.ca also offers the added value of Air Miles reward miles. One Air Miles reward mile is earned for every $20 CDN spent.

Shoppers can visit airmilesshops.ca by visiting http://www.airmilesshops.ca or by logging onto http://www.airmiles.ca and choosing the 'shop online & collect' section.

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Amy Nutt
AirMiles
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