2021 Report: Canadian Sellers on Amazon

1.3 M new sellers joined Amazon in 2020 (3,438 per day), according to a 2021 ecommerce trends report published by Divante.  As of March 21st, 295,000 new sellers have joined the marketplace.

“The figure equals 3,734 sellers per day, or 155 per hour and two every minute. Based on the current onboarding rate, 1.4 million new sellers will potentially have joined the platform by the end of the year,” says Finbold in their data analysis.

A majority of the new sellers joined through the United States marketplace accounting for 26% or 76,769. The Indian marketplace ranks second, with 29,798 new sellers representing 10.1% of the total Amazon marketplace additions in 2021. The Canadian marketplace onboarded 22,088 new sellers, a share of 7.5%.”

Canadian businesses started to take Amazon more seriously in recent years and many began to sell their products through the marketplace. As of March, 22,088 new sellers have joined the Amazon.ca marketplace so far in 2021, or 7.5 percent of all new Amazon sellers.

In 2019, 30,000 Canadian sellers collectively grossed over a billion dollars on Amazon.ca (a jump of 40 percent year-over-year), according to the 2020 Amazon Canada SMB Impact Report. Forty-five percent of small-medium sellers also sold products in other countries through Amazon, bringing in $2 billion.

The Pandemic Push

The pandemic accelerated digital sales plans for many businesses and more Canadian merchants moved into online marketplaces, often in desperation and with reluctance. They had little choice in the matter, as many were virtually forced to make a fast pivot to online sales. It became all too apparent that selling online is a critical part of retail contingency plans.

“In 2020, over 60% of Canadian businesses were forced to accelerate their technology adoption plans,” says Salesforce. “For most, digital road maps were compounded from months or years to weeks or days.”

Additionally, Canadians facing job insecurity are realizing the importance of having a backup plan. An online side business or self-employment is now being viewed as insurance. With plenty of time on their hands, Canadian entrepreneurs began exploring Amazon as a source of income.

Both scenarios have resulted in exceptional growth in the number of brands, businesses and individual sellers on Amazon’s Canadian marketplace, Amazon.ca. That said, Canada continues to trail behind several countries in online marketplace adoption.

Canadian Sellers on Amazon

Canadians prefer to shop at Canadian stores, both online and offline. In November, 2020  alone, there were 225,000,000 visits to Amazon’s Canadian marketplace. Yet only a fraction of Canadian merchants are selling on Amazon.ca.

The good news is Canadian sellers with great products can do well on Amazon.ca, even with a smaller population. There’s simply less competition on Amazon.ca. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) makes it easy for Canadians to sell in other countries as well.

Competing on Price

One of the biggest profitability obstacles are products offered from overseas to be sold through FBA in Canada. Between them and Amazon itself, it will be difficult to beat their prices. I suggest avoiding direct competition with these sellers. Come in with unique, original, quality products and be ready to pivot if competitors pick up the same product later at a lower price. Watch & manage price fluctuations with repricer tools like Seller Republic. It provides continuous & instant repricing, a profit calculator, stock forecasting and analytics for either Amazon or eBay.

“In countries like France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Canada, China even represents a larger share than the domestic sellers,” says Finbold. “No international market, except for China, represents more than 1% of sales in the U.S. marketplace, even though nine more countries – Canada, U.K., India, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, and Ukraine – have more than 10,000 sellers.”

Total Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) on Amazon.ca:

  • 13% Domestic
  • 56% China
  • 31% Other

You Don’t Have to be a Top Seller

Sales are evening out from the top few sellers on Amazon and now include more small sellers. Initially, the marketplace was dominated by larger top sellers. Now that Canadians are embracing Amazon for online sales, they represent a growing segment of small sellers there.

Interestingly, specific brands don’t dominate most categories on Amazon, keeping it profitable for private label products.

“Most categories do not have a brand that owns them, in the sense of shoppers explicitly looking for a specific brand when searching for a product. Shoppers search for “garlic press,” “garlic mincer,” “garlic chopper,” and “garlic press stainless steel,” rather than, for example, the OXO garlic press, a product that is one of the best-sellers. Those types of searches – most searches on Amazon – are the perfect breeding ground for private label products. The products that Amazon selects as the first organic results plus those that bought ads get bought, unmindful of the brand.”

Amazon.com Reigns

Almost 46 percent of the total number of visitors to Amazon’s global marketplaces arrive at Amazon.com (US). Japan, Germany and the UK claim 10 percent of visits. Including India, almost 80 percent of Amazon’s traffic comes from the top five markets.

We recommend starting on Amazon.ca, but clearly more opportunities await you and your products if you sell in other countries as well.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Most Amazon Sellers Enjoying Higher Sales in 2021
Do You Have Enough Time and Money to Start Selling on Amazon?
12 Tips for Winning the Amazon.ca Buy Box


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadianDigitalMedia.com, CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net, and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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