2017 is a fantastic year to be celebrating milestones – both culturally and digitally. Canada is turning 150 years old this year and the dot-CA domain extension recently turned 30. These anniversaries remind us that we are a big country with a small population and we rely on nation building entities to keep us together.
Initially that was the train – via the Canadian Pacific Railway (cpr.ca) and the Canadian National Railway (cn.ca) – that helped moved people and goods from coast to coast.
Then came the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (cbc.ca) telling us stories about ourselves and the lives we lead, first through radio, then through TV and finally online.
With the advent of the internet, the .CA domain allowed us to tie ourselves together digitally, allowed us to maintain our Canadianness online.
We only need to look at Google to see how the .CA domain is a linchpin that puts Canada front and center. Other major platforms that leverage the influence of .CA are Yahoo, MSN, Amazon, Kijiji and Craigslist. These platforms know that we are in Canada and offer up their .CA websites to us first. Their content, products and services are specifically targeted to reflect our location and country.
Two recent studies show that Canadians prefer to buy from Canadian companies when they are purchasing online. CIRA, the .CA registry, found that 62% of Canadians polled “prefer making purchases from Canadian websites over American ones” and a Paypal Canada study in December 2016 found that “75 percent of Canadian shoppers planned on buying holiday gifts from online Canadian retailers instead of U.S. or international brands.”
Large Canadian retailers like Canadian Tire, Chapters, MEC and Loblaws understood the value of .CA immediately and although international brands like McDonalds were slower to adopt .CA, you only have to type in your favourite brand name and Canada and their .CA domain appears at the top of the search results. These brands know that showcasing the Canadian side of their business makes good financial and branding sense.
How about you? Are you using a .CA for showcasing and marketing your business to Canadians? If your answer is “not yet”, now is the perfect time to register one. We have a “buy one, get one free” promotion on .CA running May 31, 2017 . Search for your .CA today and turn your great ideas into reality!