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How Canadian Is Canadian Ecommerce?

Domestic online shopping still a substantial force in Canada

eMarketer estimates business-to-consumer ecommerce sales in Canada will reach CA$36.77 billion (nearly $35.7 billion) this year, including CA$25.37 billion (more than $24.63 billion) in retail ecommerce spending. But research suggests that online sales in Canada may go far beyond this figure, which includes only sales made by Canadian entities.

In January 2014, the J.C. Williams Group found that just 55% of total digital purchases in Canada, by volume, went toward purchases from Canadian companies. One-third of total spending went to the US, with the remainder devoted to Asia and Europe.

Residents of Canada were cross-border shopping for several reasons, but cheaper prices was chief among them. This reason was nearly twice as common as the claim that selections were better from international retailers.

eMarketer’s estimate of ecommerce spending in Canada includes products or services ordered using the internet via any device from a Canadian vendor. Ecommerce purchases by Canadian residents from US companies, for example, fall under our definition of US retail ecommerce.

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