For some time, Canada has lagged behind other countries in e-commerce, largely due to the challenge of being able to reach a small population spread over a huge land mass, where many communities are isolated and difficult to ship to.
Canada has also been much slower than other countries to adopt new technologies, with the 2015 CIRA Internet Factbook reporting that over just 42.3 per cent of small businesses in Canada had a website, compared with 91.4 per cent of large companies.
The fact that only 13% of Canadian businesses were selling online in 2013 meant that Canadian businesses struggled to keep up with the growing appetites of Canadian online consumers.
But e-commerce in Canada is quickly changing as more and more online retailers begin to invest in digital. According to eMarketer’s latest forecast, e-commerce will account for 10% of total retail sales in Canada by 2020.
“While Canada has lagged behind the US and UK in e-commerce, it is now catching up as double-digit annual gains drive what growth there is in Canada’s retail sector,” said analyst Paul Briggs, author of the eMarketer report.
Businesses in Canada are beginning to reimagine how consumers shop for products and services, with an increasing number of e-commerce sites using technologies like click and collect, where shoppers order online and pick up their goods at a time convenient for them.
For more information on how the e-commerce market is booming in Canada, check out the latest CIRA Internet Factbook.