Connected Canadians: eCommerce and Internet Use Statistics ©

With probably the largest sample size in Canada (approximately 22,615 individuals aged 16+), Statistics Canada’s data provides us with a reasonably accurate look at Internet usage and online shopping. Their Internet usage and eCommerce statistics for 2012 were released October 28th, 2013. The last survey was conducted in 2010. Growth is evident in virtually all categories, with losses explained by natural technical evolution.

Snapshot of Canadians Online

  • 83% of Canadians used the Internet (up 3%)
  • 48% of Canadians 65+ are using the Internet (up 8%)
  • 31% of Canadians use the Internet for more than 10 hours each week
  • 50% of Internet users 16-24 spent 10+ hours online each week
  • 21% of Internet users 65+ spent 10 or more hours online each week
  • Value of online orders from Canadians were $18.9 billion (up 24%)
  • 56% of Canadians ordered online (up 5%)
  • Canadians age 25-34 shopped online most (69%)
  • 23% of Canadians sold products or services online

Provincial Canadian Internet use statistics:

  1. British Columbia 87%
  2. Alberta 85%
  3. Ontario 84%
  4. Manitoba 83%
  5. Saskatchewan 82%
  6. Quebec 81%
  7. Prince Edward Island 80%
  8. Nova Scotia 79%
  9. New Brunswick 77%
  10. Newfoundland and Labrador 77%

Metro areas above the national average for Internet use:

  1. Kelowna, British Columbia 93%
  2. Regina, Saskatchewan 90%
  3. Victoria, British Columbia 90%
  4. Calgary, Alberta 89%
  5. Vancouver, British Columbia 88%
  6. Toronto, Ontario 88%
  7. Montréal, Quebec 84%

Online Shopping in Canada

Strong preference for shopping Canadian:

  • Online shoppers purchased an average of 13 times, spending an average of $1450
  • 82% of online shoppers ordered from a Canadian company
  • 63% ordered from the United States
  • 21% ordered from countries outside of North America

Top 20 products and services purchased online by Canadians:

  1. Travel (hotel reservations, travel tickets, rental cars, etc.) 58%
  2. Event tickets (concerts, movies, sports, etc.) 52%
  3. Clothing, jewellery or accessories 42%
  4. Books, magazines, online newspapers 42%
  5. Music (CD, MP3, etc.) 35%
  6. Memberships or registration fees (health clubs, tuition, online television subscriptions, etc.) 35%
  7. Software 24%
  8. Other 24%
  9. Consumer electronics (cameras, stereos, televisions, DVD players, etc.) 22%
  10. Videos or DVDs 22%
  11. Toys and games 21%
  12. Food or beverages (specialty foods or wine, food delivery, etc.) 18%
  13. Gift certificates or gift cards 17%
  14. Photographic services 15%
  15. Computer hardware 15%
  16. Health or beauty products (vitamins, cosmetics, etc.) 15%
  17. House wares (large appliances, furniture, etc.) 12%
  18. Sports equipment 11%
  19. Home improvement or gardening supplies 7%
  20. Prescription drugs or products (glasses, contacts, etc.) 6%

Online Communication in Canada

  • 67% of Internet users visited social media websites (up 9%)
  • 79% of online Canadian females visited social media websites
  • 64% of online Canadian males visited social media websites
  • 43% of internet users made voice or video calls (up 19%)
  • 40% of Canada’s Internet users used instant messaging services (down 7%)

What are Canadians Doing Online?

  1. Using Email 93%
  2. Window shopping or browsing for information about goods or services 77%
  3. Electronic banking (bill payments, viewing statements, money transfers) 72%
  4. Visiting news websites 71%
  5. Visiting social media websites 67%
  6. Medical or health-related research 67%
  7. Travel research or making travel arrangements 66%
  8. Visiting or interacting with government websites 63%
  9. Checking out community events 58%
  10. Downloading or watching video online 54%
  11. Downloading or listening to music (free or paid downloads) 50%
  12. Calling people using online telecommunications (VoIP) 43%
  13. Instant messaging 40%
  14. Downloading or watching TV online 39%
  15. Tuning in to a radio station 38%
  16. Downloading software (free or paid downloads) 38%
  17. Formal education, training or homework 37%
  18. Job searching 36%
  19. Playing games 35%
  20. Researching investments 27%
  21. Contributing content or commentary (blogging, forums, image sharing, etc.) 24%
  22. Selling goods or services (auction sites, Amazon, etc.) 23%

Mobile Surfing in Canada

  • 58% of Canadian Internet users went online through a wireless device, such as a cell phone or tablet (up 25%)
  • 84% of Canadians aged 16-24 used a wireless device to go online
  • 9% of Canadians aged 65+ used a wireless device to connect to the Internet

We bring you a lot of Canadian statistics with much smaller sample sizes, virtually all of which reflect the data from Statistics Canada. The Internet and all it offers is clearly growing in popularity, which brings countless opportunities to Canadian entrepreneurs, individual sellers, and affiliate marketers. Taking your business and marketing online is no longer just an option to improve your bottom line or increase exposure. It has become a critical, strategic way to stay in business in a connected society.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHow do you plan to leverage the Internet? Please share your strategies or questions in the comments below.

Source: Statistics Canada

You may also be interested in reading:
7 Ways to Reach More of the 19 Million Canadian Facebook Users
Canadian Online Shopping and Digital Demands (2013 Statistics)
Digital Platforms Support the Canadian Economy (Infographic)
Finding Suppliers for your Canadian Business
Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers


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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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Well written and explains a lot. Thank you.


Fantastic info but a lot to digest. Another fantastic Canadian website….you’re an inspiration.

Bill Patel

Looks like mobile has a bigger share than any browser. A lot of web designers are going to be busy making sites compatible for phone browsing and mcommerce. I hope so since I graduate from web design in the spring!

Aarti Sadati

So thankful to you for the statistics you share. It took them a long time to publish the results but they did have a big sample. Thanks again for the work.

Calvin Adams

“© – Content on this website (all or in part) may NOT be used elsewhere without expressed permission. Content theft will result in legal action. Thank you for respecting the effort that we have put into our original content.”

“Please Share!”

I’m not quite sure if you want us to ‘Share’ your Content or not. Seems a bit contradictory between these two statements. Please explain to me if your current, useful content is really ‘Share-Free’ for all to see? A.K.A. my Group on LinkedIn ‘Canadian Content Group’.

Let me know please.

Cheers! – Calvin.

Jilliane Roberts

Readable statistics are a nice change. It’s hard to pick them out of an article, I like lists. Great info too.