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E-Exporting—A World of Opportunities

The Internet has opened a world of opportunity for exporting. As Alberta small and medium-sized enterprises enter the global marketplace, they must seriously look at the potential of using the Internet to sell their products and services.

Exporting online or "e-exporting" offers many advantages. It allows Alberta businesses to compete globally, reduce costs and develop lasting relationships with their customers.

The Internet enables better communication with clients and business partners around the world. Through e-business, products can be sold 24/7, 365 days of the year. Additional benefits stemming from online exporting include an extended life cycle for a product, diversification of its potential market and the ability to cost effectively target distant markets.

However, online exporting will not suit every company and an extensive marketing campaign will have to be implemented to create awareness that the company even exists. Exporters must be cognizant of additional costs associated with shipping goods abroad such as freight charges, insurance and any tariffs or duties payable in the foreign country.

In addition to adhering to Canada's rules and regulations, companies must also ensure that they investigate the country into which they'll be shipping their goods. For example, if a company plans to ship their goods into Australia, an exporter must research Australia's customs procedures, labeling and/or health standards, regulations and any other laws which apply to "doing business in Australia."

There is a host of other issues for e-exporters to consider including how the exporter will receive payment, how to process online returns and manage increased sales volumes.

As Alberta's primary Business Service Centre, The Business Link has a wealth of information and resources on both exporting and e-business. The Business Link is the first stop for Team Canada Inc's export information and services in Alberta. It also recently established its E-Future Centre to act as a clearinghouse for
e-business information and resources to answer clients' questions. Contact The Business Link at 1-800-272-9675 or visit



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