Canadian businesses are getting ready to take on eCommerce but the majority of them aren’t there yet. According to Statistics Canada, only 13% of Canadian companies sold goods and/or services online in 2013, totaling about $136 billion (up from $122 billion in 2012). 64% of those companies were larger enterprises, which sold about $87 billion in products or services online in 2013.
Small businesses are still poorly represented online, with only 47% having a website of any kind. 91% of large Canadian companies had a website in 2013. 19% of Canadian websites were optimized for mobile users.
It comes as no surprise that Canadian online sales were dominated by the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors, claiming 61% of eCommerce sales. With that considered, the fact that 64% of those sales were B2B (Business to Business) isn’t shocking either. Overall, 47% of all Canadian businesses purchased goods or services online in 2013. For those that did sell online in Canada, eCommerce accounted for a considerable chunk of their bottom line at 24%.
80% of online sales from Canadian businesses came from within Canada, demonstrating a significant consumer preference for shopping in their own country. American online purchases accounted for 15% of sales, and 5% internationally. With affordable shipping and a higher rate of online selling, Canadian eCommerce would be in a perfect position to bring in a much higher number of foreign dollars for the Canadian economy. What’s more, there’s still lots of room for Canadian businesses to gain a competitive advantage by being among the first businesses in this country to serve Canadian consumers online.
Social media has been increasingly recognized as an effective, economical way to market businesses online in Canada. 38% of businesses that had a website also had social media integration, up from 33% in 2012. The most common reason for using social media was to direct traffic to the website, with 41% saying traffic was their primary objective. Other forms of traffic generation included print (37%) and paid search (23%).
All indicators point to a major increase in Canadian eCommerce over the next couple of years. That means we’re a wide-open market for those who offer eCommerce-related products or services. Everything from software to consulting will be in great demand in Canada as enterprises embrace the Internet as a critical part of their sales and marketing strategy.
Source: Statistics Canada: Digital Technology and Internet Use, 2013 (June, 2014). Sample size: Approximately 17,000 private Canadian enterprises.
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