Ron Bennett writes:|
if a site isn't in .COM, it doesn't exist in minds of most consumers and that's unlikely to change...Here in Canada at least it is already changing for a number of reasons, a few of which I've mentioned before but will do so again. One is simple common sense, if one is running a commercial Canadian site one wants to be seen as Canadian to one's customers, whether they are Canadian or not. In the latter case this has the added benefit of telling consumers that they are dealing with an entity in the same country. This may make a difference for customer support, shipping costs, product return, legal disputes, and on and on. Duty is one example, buy something that needs to be shipped across the border and as often as not it can turn into a huge headache.
Another reason is simple patriotism, when one buys in one's own country, presumably the money stays at home. This isn't a foreign concept, how often have you heard Buy American?
Another reason is that many of the best known .coms (and quite a number of smaller players), although they aren't based in Canada, are also using .ca: yahoo, ebay, amazon, google. In some cases they will give you the .ca page even if you want the .com one. Advertising for these sites, both online (when they can tell you're in Canada, this includes in banner and popup ads on other sites, you see an ad for amazon.com, I see one for amazon.ca) and offline printmedia, radio, and television, give the .ca address, not .com. These corps would be foolish to go through all this bother (these aren't just defensive registrations) if .com was somehow seen by consumers as better. It isn't, and the companies know that and act accordingly.
additionally, many people will consider sites in other TLDs as being cheap, fly-by-night, inferior, etc because they are not in .COMThat's actually another reason for using .ca. It is .com that is seen as cheap, fly-by-night, inferior, it is full of drek like typosquatters, parking and forsale pages, and increasingly (particularily once VeriSign gets its WLS) will take you elsewhere than you expected.
Plus how does one know the dotcom will be there tomorrow, the dotcom crash is still shaking out, consumers have heard repeatedly about dotcom failures, not dotca failures. And most of the times you do see someone advertising a .com address in Canada it is by flyer for things like a weightloss MLM outfit, or in the classifieds for things like make money at home scams. dotcom is becoming indistinguishable from dotcon.
Canadian consumers are increasingly learning that .com cannot be relied on for a number of reasons, and both companies (local and foreign) and consumers are choosing to use .ca instead. I suspect this trend may also be apparent in other more mature ccTLDs like .uk, .fr, .jp, .au, etc. -g