Head of Google Canada urges country’s businesses to up the ante on being web savvy

Despite having some of the highest digital literacy rates and highest internet usage rates in the world, Canadian consumers don’t have much to take advantage of: Country director of Google Canada, Chris O’Neill, says Canadian companies aren’t putting enough of their businesses online for consumers to utilize.

And it’s true—there are monster stores, like the centuries-old Hudson Bay, who not only lack an e-commerce shop-online platform, but consumers can barely view images of the majority of the products.

“Canada is one of the most wired countries in the world … there’s a great opportunity for businesses to think differently about digital and the web in general,” Chris said recently in a news piece with CBC. “The internet is where things are going to be if they’re not there already, and Canadian businesses need to anticipate that and get there. It does take a while to really embrace the internet and really figure out how you can use it to transform your business.”

He and others believe Canadian consumers are just itching for more opportunities to spend their money online, and that it’s a necessary adaption for today’s businesses to create a full-fledged presence online.

“To be a relevant company today, you really need to have digital capabilities and really understand what the internet means, because that’s where your customers are,” Chris says. “You could take the word ‘Google’ away but that message still stands up.”