Canadian Online Retail (eCommerce) Statistics & Tips

ComScore 2013 Canada Digital Future in Focus statistics indicate a growing number of Canadian online shoppers in 2012 over 2011. Most notable though, is the huge movement towards multi-platform usage and marketing. 62% of Canada’s mobile phone users have a Smartphone, and 43% of them also own another mobile device (tablet, laptop, etc.).

Most business owners are aware that online shopping is increasing in Canada, so it will come as no surprise that internet spending increased by 10% over 2011 figures. The number of online transactions in Canada increased by 17% compared to 2011.

eCommerce Websites Most Visited by Canadians

Canadian visits to eCommerce websites increased by 9% in 2012 over 2011.

Most Popular Online Shopping Websites Among Canadians (with their progress since 2011):

  1. Amazon +8%
  2. Apple -1%
  3. Kijiji +9%
  4. Best Buy -1%
  5. Wal-Mart +15%

Automotive website visits increased by 6% in 2012. Automotive Manufacturer advertisers posted a 15% increase in 2012 compared to 2011, with General Motors Corporation leading the car race.

Hybridized Shopping Combines Offline with Online

The ComScore report says, “Consumers have already adopted multiple platforms and devices – 2013 is the year businesses need to follow if they desire a unified, platform-agnostic view of consumer behavior.”

We’ve heard offline Canadian retailers complain about Smartphone users who come in to see a product and then search online for the lowest price (showrooming). That certainly happens, but there are also opportunities presented by Smartphone and other mobile device users that offline retailers can take advantage of.

What Canadian Smartphone users are doing in stores:Canadian Online Retail statistics

  • Found coupons or deals 6%
  • Checked product availability 6%
  • Researched product features 8%
  • Scanned a product barcode 10%
  • Compared product prices 10%
  • Found store location 10%
  • Sent picture of product to family/friends 18%
  • Texted or called friends/family about a product 26%
  • Took picture of a product 30%

Get ahead of the game with QR codes leading to your webpage that include product information, coupons, manufacturer rebates, warranty information, testimonials, ratings, etc. The webpage should be designed for quick reading, using bullet points and a clear layout. Resist the temptation to clutter it up with sales copy. You can also make it easy for shoppers to share the information by including social media and e-mail sharing icons, to ensure your company is shared along with the product information. Work it in your favour by offering a special coupon for sharing the product information page on your website, signing up for your newsletter, or purchasing immediately in the store.

Measuring Success

ComScore experts suggest that marketers focus on adaptable analytics, multi-platform measurement, and campaign validation.

“Integration between delivery of content and the ability to deliver campaigns in a multi-platform fashion remains a challenge” the report cautions, “but the companies who facilitate this form of platform agnostic strategy will enhance value to marketers, simplify campaign management for agencies and foster greater pricing equilibrium between their content channels.”

We’ve Got a Long Way to Go and a Short Time to Get There

What is astounding is that so few Canadian businesses even have a website (only 46%, according to RBC), let alone eCommerce functionality, multi-platform compatibility, or a platform marketing strategy. Clearly, Canadian businesses have a lot of work to do in 2013 if they want to profit from the eCommerce era. We’ll be assisting you in this journey throughout the year.

Will your business be cornering the online market in 2013?  Please share your plans and concerns in the comments below.

ComScore – 2013 Canada Digital Future in Focus

✔  You may also be interested in reading:

Canadian Social Media Statistics
Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website (Statistics)
Mobile Advertising Jumps by Over 75% in Canada (Statistics)


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Melody McKinnon
Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website

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,,, and, 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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Leslie C

It’s hard to believe some of these statistics reflect reality but I guess most of them are only so accurate.


I don’t know why Canadians lag behind but it’s encouraging to see the changing attitudes.


Someday maybe all of the top websites visited by Canadians will in fact BE CANADIAN.

Jean Montreal

So much potential for success in Canada, I can’t wait to get a piece of the pie!


Great tips! Mobile is kind of scary at this point and I appreciate the direction. I guess we can safely say mobile isn’t a fad! Social media is something we’ve been on the fence about.


Geezelouise, Canada needs to wake up and smell the cyberspace! We could be bringing in a ton of money!


Fabulous blog!! Canadians need blogs like this so badly and your doing a wonderful job with it. The topics are perfect and the writing and pictures are topnotch. I’m especially enjoying the Canadian statistics. My only complaint is I want posting more often but I understand how much time it takes. 🙂 🙂 🙂


Thank you for bringing us these statistics. I have to admit to resisting the web movement but it’s true that it can no longer be avoided without damaging my business. Thank you for your help and intelligent writing as I proceed.