Canadian e-commerce by the numbers

3 minute read

Canadian e-commerce opportunity and growth is flourishing while online markets continue to mature.

Online shoppers keep getting busier and e-commerce activity is showing no signs of slowing. But as more brands dip their toes into e-commerce, standing out among the competition becomes more challenging.

To help you set your business apart, we’ve collected and analyzed consumer data gathered throughout 2019 to help you find, acquire and retain your most lucrative customers throughout 2020.

E-commerce report highlights

In 2019, we surveyed 5,000 Canadians who made online purchases in the last year. We asked them what’s in their carts, how much they buy, what they expect, what technology they use when shopping online, and more.

We distilled our findings to give merchants everything they need to compete and grow in today’s – and tomorrow’s – world of e-commerce.

Here is a sneak peek at the kind of data insights you’ll get out of this year’s research:

  • 8/10 Canadians shopped online in the last year

    Forecasts show growth for Canadian e-commerce!

    • eMarketer estimated spending at $65 billion in 2019 – rising to almost $108 billion by 2023.
    • 32 per cent of Canadian online shoppers say they plan to buy more online in the coming year.

    Comparing last year’s e-commerce activity to 2018 numbers, we see that the amount of people buying online has remained relatively stable. One reason has to do with the evolution of omni-channel shopping. In-store pickup grows in popularity as consumers look to shop online, but complete purchases in-store.

  • Domestic apparel sales are on the rise

    Apparel e-commerce is growing fast, experiencing an 8 per cent growth in domestic purchases last year.

    Clothing and apparel has always been a top category for Canadian online purchases, which makes its tremendous growth even more significant. Breaking down the numbers, we see that much of last year’s 8 per cent growth in domestic apparel sales comes from the men’s clothing segment, which grew by 17 per cent last year.

  • Canadians want to buy Canadian

    In addition to apparel, domestic sales across every sector indicate exciting growth as 40 per cent of Canadian online shoppers report their intention to shop more from Canadian businesses in 2020.

    Canadians are hungry for Canadian products! With politics, trade, and the exchange rate influencing online shopping habits – Canadian online shoppers are ravenous for a greater selection of products online from Canadian retailers.

    Download the 2020 Canadian e-commerce report

  • Free shipping is king

    80 per cent of shoppers report that free shipping is the #1 influencer driving their choice of retailer.

    For online shoppers, free shipping and fast checkout are necessities. It’s no surprise that online shoppers would choose the retailer that offers free shipping versus the one that doesn’t. For merchants that can’t feasibly provide free shipping, eliminating friction from the receiving experience can still set you apart from the competition. Providing delivery dates upfront, comprehensive tracking, and a clear returns policy can make you the favourite choice of your target customer.

Invest your resources for impact

As a retailer, understanding the needs, wants, expectations and behaviour of your target customers remains the foundation for success.

Throughout 2020, international brands will still pose a competitive challenge to Canadian e-commerce merchants. To set themselves apart, domestic retailers have an exciting opportunity to tap into shopper appetites for made-in-Canada brands and home-grown products.

With more and more emerging channels like online marketplaces, direct-to-consumer e-commerce and social selling, determining where and how you want to sell will be among the most important strategic decisions you make this year.

Go where your customer is to increase your presence. Be active and have conversations with your shoppers online to capture attention, grow your online traffic, and funnel your shoppers towards your retail experience.

We’re here to help you grow.

Contact a Canada Post representative to understand how your business can leverage our e-commerce expertise.

Contact us