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Sales Status & Expected Future of E-commerce in Canada

General information about Canada

Population: 36,953,765
Number of Internet Users: 32,120,519
Internet Penetration: 88.50%
Mobile Phone Users: 25,556,000
Mobile Phone Penetration: 80.80%
Language Spoken: English, French
According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) is 1,769,270 (millions of Current Int$) and nominal GDP is 1,652,412 US$. GDP (PPP) per capita is 48,141 Int$ and GDP (nominal) per capita is 45,077 US$. Real GDP growth rate is 3.00%. Besides, as far as the penetration of Internet users and mobile phone are concerned, selling on the Canadian e-commerce market is a great option for growth-minded online sellers.

Sales status & expected future of e-commerce in Canada

The e-commerce market, where customers and businessmen can buy and sell products and services exclusively through electronic channels, has been developing constantly in the past decade. In fact, retail sales from worldwide electronic commerce are expected to grow from 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017 to almost 4.9 trillion in 2021. As of 2018, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to almost 1.6 billion Canadian dollars, and revenue generated within the retail e-commerce market is expected to surpass 55 billion Canadian dollars by 2023, up from 40 billion in 2018.

Some of the most popular online shopping categories in Canada include fashion, travel and household goods. The most common reasons for online as opposed to in-person purchases according to online shoppers in Canada are pretty similar to other countries, namely a better variety of products online, saving time and saving money. Canadian online shoppers are also interested in shopping internationally to score a better deal online.

There is still hesitance towards online payments among Canadians, with 18% admitting that they feel very uncomfortable making digital purchases, however this attitude has not prevented Canadians from exhibiting greater confidence when buying online. In 2017, a total of 57% of Canadians aged between 18 and 34 years old said that they stored personal credit card information with a mobile app or online e-commerce site. The share of Canadians who store their details on the internet decreases with age, with just 22% of Canadians aged 65 or above saying that they did so. Other popular online and mobile payment actions in Canada involved credit card usage, P2P services as well as PayPal. Among those who shop online, some 17% admit to spending more than 2,000 Canadian dollars, while for 25% of digital shoppers the average annual amount spent online does not surpass 500 dollars.

There is also a clear increase in the amount of Canadians who are happy to use more sophisticated and non-traditional payment methods. It is estimated that by 2020, the percentage of mobile phone users using mobile wallets from major tech companies in Canada will have almost doubled to 15%, up from seven percent in 2016. Overall, Canadians are demonstrating an ever-increasing willingness to embrace the world of e-commerce, are becoming more receptive to new and innovative payment methods and are growing more confident storing data and purchasing online. Whilst progress in Canada’s e-commerce industry has been somewhat slow, market forecasts suggest that the industry is set to grow significantly over the next few years. If more Canadian retailers and consumers begin to explore and utilize the benefits of e-commerce, these forecasts could come to fruition.

The top 5 e-commerce websites in Canada are Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Apple and Canadian Tire. It’s worth checking out those popular e-commerce sites/platforms to see which one would be the best fit for your product in terms of traffic volume, competition and the type of e-commerce buyers they attract.


The top 5 products for Canadian online buyers include clothes/shoes/jewelry/accessories, shows/outings/restaurants, music/movies/video games, consumer electronics and software or mobile apps. Offering products from these categories can help you establish your presence on the Canadian e-commerce market.

The top 3 payment methods for digital purchases include credit/debit cards, cash and contactless card. It’s important to provide your (potential) customers with payment methods of their preference. In many cases, if online shoppers can’t find their preferred or trusted methods of payment during checkout, they will abandon the shopping cart.

International e-commerce sales advices

E-commerce sales in Canada are growing by leaps and bounds. Selling in Canada is worth considering for many international e-commerce sellers. A well thought out international sales strategy should help you overcome the initial burden of translating and localizing your online store.

  1. Provide suitable payment & shipping method.
    Optimizing checkout for your customers can have the biggest impact on your conversion rates. This is crucial also for your international online buyers. Thus, take care to provide international payment, currency conversion and suitable shipping methods.
  2. Optimize mobile purchase experience.
    Mobile commerce is shaping the future of e-commerce in Canada, but also around the world. E-commerce sellers should bear this in mind when setting up their online stores and product listings. Mobile optimization and great mobile buying experience are a must for all growth-minded online sellers.
  3. Enable search engines to index your store.
    To drive Canadian traffic to your website, local marketing & SEO will help you get it right. When you localize your online store for international markets, enable international search engines to index your store/products to improve your organic international traffic. You can also leverage services, such as Google Shopping and Facebook ads internationally.
  4. Choose global shipping/parcel forwarding services.
    To ship your products to Canada in the most efficient and cost-effective way, please use global shipping/parcel forwarding services. This way you can get competitive international shipping rates, on average 30% lower, and pass the lower cost on to your buyers, increasing your competitive advantage.
  5. Pay special attention to customer services.
    E-commerce store owners should note that Canadian customers are most concerned about high-quality sales service and after-sales support, so if you have free customer services like phone number or online customer support, it will be very effective to maintain customer relations and receive more orders.

    For more information, please refer to
    https://www.webinterpret.com/us/sell-online/canada/
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