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Retailers in Canada Make Strides in the Ecommerce Channel

B2C ecommerce sales set to rise 14% in 2012

New York, NY (October 19, 2012) – “Online” has come to define the way most consumers in Canada socialize, communicate, bank and research. But when it comes to ecommerce, the online channel hasn’t developed commensurate with the internet appetite in the country, according to a new eMarketer report, “Canada Ecommerce: Vendors Compete and Innovate to Deliver Better Ecommerce Experiences.”

Not surprisingly, it has less to do with appetite than what’s being served. Compared to similarly connected nations, product assortment, payment paths and the number of online operators still trail in Canada’s ecommerce marketplace.

While many retail stalwarts in the country have dabbled in ecommerce, sustained success has been absent. But as large Canada-based retailers have begun to compete with US-based Canadian operators such as Amazon, online offerings have begun to expand, and creative solutions to supply chain difficulties have been implemented.

eMarketer estimates that 13.3 million consumers in Canada ages 14 and up made at least one online purchase in 2011. Modest, single-digit growth in the number of online buyers annually is expected to continue throughout the forecast period. Those buyers will spend a total of $21.45 billion on online purchases this year. Spending will rise by double-digit percentages each year through the end of the forecast period, when outlays will near $35 billion.

The oft-cited lag in ecommerce adoption in Canada is certainly true from a penetration perspective—as the online buyer numbers show—but once engaged, the level of participation is predictably strong from a highly connected public. In terms of the average spending per buyer, Canada will rank behind only the US, UK, Australia and Japan in 2012, outpacing average spend per buyer from G20 peers like Italy, France and Germany.

But what is the reason behind Canada’s lag in ecommerce adoption? This concern and other key questions are answered in the report, including:

  • How does Canada compare to other mature countries in ecommerce adoption?
  • What barriers are unique to ecommerce adoption in Canada?
  • What strategies are being used to increase adoption?
  • What companies in Canada are leading the way?
Posted on October 9, 2012.