Canadian Internet Registration Authority

March 07, 2005 12:08 ET

Moving to a dot-ca domain name is good for business

BACKGROUNDER Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 7, 2005) - Many Canadian and multinational companies are making the decision to Canadianize their online presence by moving to a dot-ca Internet domain name - and with good reason, according to research commissioned by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

Many major corporations, such as Dell, Pfizer and DaimlerChrysler, have reshaped their online brands by using dot-ca domain names to do business with Canadian consumers. The reasons for choosing dot-ca names are as varied as the organizations themselves. As dot-ca names become more widely seen and known, more and more companies are choosing to demonstrate their Canadian presence in the online world.

"When we first launched our Canadian Internet site we used pfizercanada.com as the address but we soon changed it to pfizer.ca," said Don Sancton, Director of Corporate Affairs for Pfizer Canada Inc. in Montreal. "The name was not only shorter and simpler, but we wanted to use the dot-ca designation to better promote the Canadian identity of our organization."

A dot-ca domain name can be part of an online marketing strategy for any company with a Canadian target market, whether they conduct e-commerce transactions or simply provide information through their website. CIRA's research shows an increased level of trust by Canadians toward dot-ca websites versus their dot-com counterpart. The reasons cited were varied but centred on the fact that Canadians see and recognize Canadian online identities as local and easy to do business with (e.g. prices, shipping, postage, etc.).

"DaimlerChrysler Canada uses dot-ca domain names as a convenience and reassurance to consumers that the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge product, pricing and dealer information they are accessing on the website is applicable to them in their Canadian market," said Pearl Davies, Senior Manager - National Advertising, DaimlerChrysler Canada.

Many companies opt for dot-ca domain names because of the credibility and familiarity that a dot-ca identity lends to a website. Others made the change because it allowed them to get a name that better reflects their brand, without unnecessary dashes (e.g. www.this-is-the-only-name-I-could-get.com).

Making the switch to the dot-ca domain is beneficial to smaller companies as well. Delta Media, an Ottawa-based PR agency had promoted its website as delta-media.com since 1996, and recently changed its address to deltamedia.ca. The reason, according to company president, Sheena Pennie, was that Delta Media wanted to distinguish itself as a Canadian company. "That's the reason governments and corporations hire us - for our knowledge of the Canadian market," explains Pennie. "We also wanted to simplify the address and get rid of the hyphen. Our new address is much easier to communicate to clients and prospects - and, it helps to define us as truly Canadian."

The research also showed that the dot-ca domain enjoys a very favourable position in the minds of Canadian Internet users. The two-letter "CA" extension is patriotic, emotionally appealing and more trusted than dot-com domains. Canadians know that dot-ca means Canada.

According to CIRA's President and CEO, Bernard Turcotte, this can be used as a significant advantage by Canadian companies. "From what we've seen, a dot-ca domain name can be a factor for Web consumers when deciding to make an online purchase, and there is clearly a greater sense of familiarity with dot-ca among Canadians. Online commerce is fierce and competitive, so every little bit counts when trying to earn the trust of potential customers."

The ongoing growth in the number of dot-ca domain name registrations continues at a strong pace. In 2004, the number of dot-ca domain names registered rose 24% from 389,216 in 2003 to 482,684. In contrast, the number of dot-com domain names registered to Canadians rose only 10% in 2004. As the number of dot-ca registrations quickly nears 500,000, Turcotte is confident that dot-ca will outpace dot-com in Canada sooner than one might think.
/For further information: Visit http://www.cira.ca/ IN: TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Ryan Anderson, Account Coordinator, Delta Media
    Primary Phone: 613-233-9191
    Toll-Free: 888-473-3582
    E-mail: ryan@deltamedia.ca