An exclusive snapshot of Canadian e-commerce by the numbers

3 minute read

It looks like time-starved customers were driving sales for online retailers in 2015. Canadian shoppers ordered more online than ever – a lot more. Their online shopping patterns reveal trends that affect e-retailers’ strategies, operations and revenue.

Our partnership with thousands of online merchants, delivering the majority of B2C parcels in Canada, generated unique insights that create a holistic view of the nation’s e-commerce landscape. Here’s what stood out:

E-commerce grew at a rate of 15 per cent year-over-year

Fuelled by a maturing online shopper base, who are increasingly moving their retail spend online, Canadian e-commerce continues to showcase consistent double-digit growth.

Steady growth continues in major urban markets like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal – driven by an increasingly experienced online shopper base.

What should you watch for in 2016? Emerging secondary markets where customers are adapting rapidly to online shopping, as seen in 2015 growth pockets like the Prairies and Atlantic regions.

Traditional segments like fashion and mass merchant still show impressive growth, but emerging segments, like sporting & outdoor goods and housewares & home furnishings, reveal that Canadians are opening their wallets to a wider range of products as they become more comfortable shopping online.

The big story from 2015: Seasonal shopping has moved online

It looks like consumers are less interested in braving the lineups at brick-and-mortar stores during traditional big shopping events like Back to School, Black Friday and Christmas.

Summer, historically a quiet time in e-commerce, is heating up. Amazon’s first Prime Day in July 2015 inspired copycat offers by other online retailers looking for a share of the action. August’s back-to-school surge saw impressive growth in e-commerce segments like fashion, sporting goods/outdoor and housewares/home furnishings – suggesting that shoppers are less inclined to trek to brick-and-mortar stores during the back-to-school rush.

Canadians adopted the American Cyber Monday sale with enough gusto to turn the retail event into Cyber Week.

During 2015’s Cyber Week, Canada Post recorded a 32 per cent YOY increase in parcel volumes. And 2015’s Cyber Week parcel volume was 65 per cent higher than the previous week’s – suggesting that shoppers waited to buy in anticipation of better discounts during Cyber Week. It’s safe to say that this monumental week officially kicks off the start of 2015 holiday shopping season.

Future forward

It’s safe to say e-commerce has become part of the normal shopping mix for the majority of Canadians, no matter where they live or what they want to buy. Online retailers can leverage Canada Post’s exclusive insights as they focus on strategies to tap into this growth in 2016 and beyond.

Get the full picture with a webinar covering Canada’s most recent e-commerce numbers and what they mean for your business.

Learn about Canada’s recent e-commerce numbers and what they mean for your business in our webinar.

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Source: YOY Parcel Volume Growth: January – December (2014 and 2015). Data retrieved from 2,690 Canada Post e-commerce customers.