The majority (85+%) of Canadian consumers agree that personal service and convenience are the number one reason they support small businesses, according the 2013 Rogers Small Business Research Report. They shop at small businesses to support their local economy and 62% are proud to shop local.

Statistical snapshot of Canadian consumers who shop most often at small businesses:

  • Live in Atlantic Canada (55%)
  • No children at home (50%)
  • Baby boomers over 60 years old (58%)

Over half of Canadians (51%) indicated they would buy from small businesses more often if they could do so online.  Online shopping is inconsistently used by the middle-aged and is largely dismissed by baby boomers.  When it comes to Generation Y (consumers age 18-35), however, e-commerce options are not only wanted, they’re expected.  The data indicates that 60% of Gen Y thinks small businesses should have an e-commerce website and are not active enough online.  Less than 35% of Baby Boomers indicated they agreed.

Statistical snapshot of Canadian Gen Y consumers who shop at small businesses:Canadian Small Business eCommerce

  • Want e-commerce shopping options (60%)
  • Expect a strong social media presence (51%)
  • Want loyalty rewards programs (68%)

It’s important that Canadian small businesses recognize the diversity in the modern market.  With a significant number of all shoppers looking for e-commerce options and online interaction, accommodating today’s (and tomorrow’s) consumer can greatly contribute to a healthy bottom line.  It expands your market considerably as well.  An RBC survey conducted earlier this year found that 38% of businesses that do have e-commerce-enabled websites generate over 25% of their revenue through online sales. An impressive 22% of those surveyed boast that over 50% of their revenue comes from online sales.  Small businesses in Canada that aren’t online are clearly leaving a lot of money on the table.

The number of consumers who want to shop from your store or communicate with you online, has increased to a point where you can safely hire someone to manage your online presence and still increase profits.  Consider starting with a part-time employee who is well-versed and experienced in managing all aspects of online business.  They can work from their home office under contract to reduce expenses.  Your increase in profit will more than cover a salary and you can continue to focus on your offline presence.  I’ve done this for several small business clients, most of whom started with only 30 hours/month.

If you’re trying to bring your company online, you may find the following articles helpful:

Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business
Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website (Statistics)
10 Tips for Taking Product Photos That Sell Online
Canadian Stores Can Grab Global Online Shoppers (Statistics)
Test eCommerce Waters with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Canadian Omni-Channel Panel Shares Insights
Canadian Demand for Online Business Experts to far Exceed Supply
Top Online Business and Marketing Books of 2015

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessIs your small business online?  We’d love to hear why or why not in the comments below.

Rogers Communications Inc.

You may also be interested in reading:
Economical Hiring – A Marketing Assistant Can Manage Your Online Presence
Mobile Commuting / Telecommuting is Increasing in Canada
Help for the 54% of Canadian Small Businesses Without a Website (Statistics)
Canadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses (Statistics)


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

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.

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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All ages and stages are headed towards shopping from home. Some still think it’s a perk and some demand it but they’re all heading there either way.

Bottom line is businesses HAVE to be online.

Vicky Lewis

So true! We track demographics and genY buys more online by far.

Kyle S.

Gen Y wants EVERYTHING LOL especially when it comes to technology. They’re the up & coming spenders and worth every effort in my opinion…and they know it!


That’s the trend for all ages, it’s only less prominent in some than others.

Everyone’s moving into online shopping and if you’re not there you’ll be left behind.


Nicki Sarnia

I can’t imagine not selling online. It truly is the saving grace for small businesses in any country. Our online sales are consistent and without them we’d be dead in the water. Take the leap, you won’t be sorry.

Geoffe Wade

Our store did have a website but we took it down for a makeover with **drumroll** ECOMMERCE! Sounds like we’re on the right track. Thanks for the stats.