Canadian ECommerce Hit $136 Billion in 2013

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Statistics Canada revealed that Canadian businesses sold $136 billion worth of goods and services online in 2013, which was about an 11.5 percent jump from the previous year’s $122 billion. Still, just 13 percent of businesses actually sold things on the Internet.

For comparison, Forbes’ pre-2013 estimate of ecommerce value in the U.S was $262.3 billion. Canada’s numbers are nowhere near its neighbour to the south, nevertheless, the new Canadian figures are encouraging. Improvements like these will continue to chip away at our unfortunate national sentiment that Canada is “lagging” in eCommerce. 

One can also put it in perspective this way: Canada’s 35,344,962 people generated about $3,847 worth of ecommerce revenue each. Meanwhile, going by Forbes’ 2013 estimates, U.S’s 318,195,000 (Wikipedia) people generated about $824 each.

Wholesale trade, manufacturing and retail trade accounted for 61 percent of the value of e-commerce sales, similar to the 2012 results.

It says about 13 percent of businesses sold goods or services over the Internet in 2013, up from 11 percent in 2012. 

Estimates of e-commerce and digital technology use based on a sample of approximately 17,000 private Canadian enterprises. Enterprises of all sizes, including enterprises with no employees, were included in the sample.

Large companies, those with 100 or more employees, accounted for nearly all of the growth in the value of online sales in 2013. Those businesses were responsible for about $87 billion, or 64 percent of the value of total online sales.

Among those enterprises that sold online in 2013, almost a quarter (24 percent) of the value of their total sales came from online transactions. Overall, 80 percent of the value of online sales was attributable to customers in Canada, 15 percent to customers in the United States and the remaining to customers in other countries.

Just under half of Canadian enterprises (47 percent) purchased goods or services online in 2013.

In 2013, 46 percent of enterprises had a website, which was virtually unchanged from 2012. Conversely, 91 percent of larger enterprises had a website.

Recognizing that Canadians no longer only access the Internet through a traditional computer, almost one in five (19 percent) enterprises with a website had it optimized for mobile users.

38 Percent of enterprises with a website had social media integration, compared with 33% in 2012. The use of social media to direct traffic to an enterprise’s website (41 percent) was the most commonly cited strategy.

Photo by Engagement labs.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk previously has written for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.