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Retail ecommerce sales in Canada reached C$25.37 billion ($22.97 billion) last year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of digital sales in countries around the world, and will rise 16.8% to C$29.63 billion ($26.83 billion) this year.
With total retail sales in the country growing at around 2% annually throughout our forecast period, and digital commerce expected to make double-digit gains during the same time period, retail ecommerce will increase as a share of the total from 5.9% this year to 8.2% in 2018.
Though sales figures are still growing quickly, the audience of digital shoppers and buyers in Canada is beginning to plateau. This year, eMarketer expects, the number of people in Canada who research products on the internet will go up by just 3.2% and will account for 80.0% of internet users.
The number of people who actually make a purchase via digital channels is growing almost twice as fast, but that rate too will drop off significantly after this year. About seven in 10 internet users in Canada will make a purchase over the internet at least once in 2015, a figure that will rise only slightly during our forecast period.
eMarketer’s ecommerce sales figures include spending at digital retailers located in Canada. Research indicates that a significant share of Canadian ecommerce occurs across borders, however. According to data from J.C. Williams Group, 51% of total digital spending in Canada in July 2014 was on products sold from Canada. The US accounted for 34% of digital spending, while Asia-Pacific made up 10% and Europe 3%.
eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.
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