The first Canadian statistical predictions for the 2013 online holiday shopping season are beginning to roll in. All statistics this year point to the necessity of an online presence for Canadian businesses, preferably with eCommerce options. While statistics show most Canadians still prefer to shop from their desktop, SmartPhone usage of over 50% of mobile phone users in Canada has emphasized the importance of compatibility and multi-channel integration for both online and offline shoppers. All statistical indicators this year point to a lucrative 2013 online holiday shopping season in Canada.

2013 Canadian Holiday Shopping Statistical Predictions from RetailMeNot / Ipsos

RetailMeNot and Ipsos released the results of their 2013 International holiday shopping survey yesterday. The survey covered holiday spending and online shopping preferences.2013 Canadian Holiday Online Shopping Statistics

  • 59% of Canadians surveyed plan to spend the same amount or more on Christmas and other December Holidays compared to last year.
  • 14% of Canadians say the cost of the holidays doesn’t concern them.
  • More Canadian women (38%) will spend less in 2013 than Canadian men (26%).
  • 73% of Canadians will shop online.
  • 10% of Canadian shoppers will do most of their shopping online.
  • 32% of Canadians will start their holiday shopping before October.
  • 28% of Canadians will wait until December to do their shopping.
  • Canadian men (34%) are more likely than Canadian women (23%) to wait until December to do their holiday shopping.

The online holiday shopping season starts earlier and slows down sooner due to shipping times. Online stores can begin to target seasonal shoppers as early as October. That doesn’t mean you have to start a holiday theme campaign that early (most consumers will object to that). You can, however, begin offering competitive deals, activate free or reduced shipping, focus your search advertising on gifts, tailor your blog content, etc.

Let the Ghost of Christmas Past be your Guide

Past data and analytics provide a more solid base than predictions.

December 2012 Canadian Online Shopping Statistics from MasterCard:

  • Online Sales: up 6.6% ($2.8 billion in purchases)
  • Online Sales by Comparison to December 2011:  up 26% (surpassing US eCommerce growth of 12.6%)
    – 43 consecutive months of year-over-year growth
    – 15 consecutive months of growth over 20%
    – The October 2012 year-over-year growth rate was 27.5%.
    – The November 2012 year-over-year growth rate was 26.4%.

“eCommerce is the new frontier for many Canadian companies looking to grow their base and put their products in the hands of consumers,” said Michael McNamara, VP of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “While online shopping shares typically peak during the holiday season, the size of the share in Canada this year is definitely a pleasant surprise for online merchants.”

Canadian online shopping growth is expected to outpace the US for the next several years.  eCommerce is undeniably the future of retail sales, be it entirely web-based businesses or ‘brick and mortar’ businesses offering online shopping options. For most, eCommerce is a simple matter of getting a domain name (we use reputable & well-established Dotster) and choosing website hosting with e-commerce / catalogue support (such as Yahoo, iPage, or Shopify Ecommerce).  The longer Canadian businesses delay bringing their company online, the more money they’ll leave on the table.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHow are you preparing for the 2013 online holiday shopping season? Please add your comments below.


You may also be interested in reading:
Canadian Online Shopping and Digital Demands (2013 Statistics)
2012 Canadian Holiday Shopping Statistics and E-commerce Tips
7 Ways to Reach More of the 19 Million Canadian Facebook Users
Canadian Digital Behaviour for Businesses (Statistics)
Shop Canada Online (Free Holiday-Theme Graphic)


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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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Delilah Dieppe New Brunswick

Saw this post on a Linkedin group. Whenever I think about getting into ecommerce I get overwhelmed. Next year I’ll hire someone to get my business online but I can’t afford to hire someone to manage the site full time. I guess I have some learning to do. Catch up or be left in the dust!

Thomas B

Great to see it on paper but I think it’s pretty obvious that online shopping will increase year over year. Any business that hasn’t figured that out are determined to fail.


We’re scrambling to get online before Christmas so I doubt we’ll see a big difference for this year but look out next year. Great job on this report, thanks.

Luke Timmons

The holidays are sneaking up from behind. We’re being very careful since it’s so early but I agree with your suggestions to start rolling out deals. Thanks for teh stats I’ve come to rely on you for.