Top 13 Reasons Canadians Shop Online (Statistics)

The fact that Canadians are shopping online isn’t news, but details are scarce. The more insight we can gain regarding how and why Canadians shop online, the better we can serve them and ultimately gain their business.

Statistics from the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) 2015 Total Global Retail Consumer Survey, indicate Canadians embraced online shopping in a big way in 2014.  54% bought something online at least once per month, and 78% of online shoppers in Canada have been doing so for at least three years.

PWC asked 1000 Canadians why they buy products online instead of going to a store offline. While finding a bargain continues to be the top reason, convenience is close behind. Convenience, along with every single other reason given for shopping online, are levels any store can compete on. In fact, “price” as a reason to shop the Internet is actually dropping statistically, while all but one of the other reasons for shopping online have increased or stayed the same. That means a common reason Canadian businesses have for not adopting eCommerce: “we can’t compete with American and chain store prices”, is no longer a valid excuse. Following are a dozen ways you CAN compete… and triumph!

Top 13 Reasons Canadians Shop Online

  1. Lower prices online 53% (down from 55% in 2013)
  2. Online stores are open all day, every day 43% (up from 39% in 2013)
  3. Don’t have to go to a store 38%
  4. There are some products online that aren’t available to me in stores 37% (down from 38%)
  5. More variety online 28% (up from 24%)
  6. Product comparison and research is easier online 26% (same in 2013)
  7. Seeking a specific brand or product 25% (up from 22%)
  8. Customer reviews are readily available online 14% (up from 12%)
  9. Received an promotional eMail or text message (such as a coupon) 9% (up from 8%)
  10. More product information available 9% (up from 7%)
  11. Product return options 3% (up from 1%)
  12. Social Media (following a brand, commenting, etc.) 3% (up from 1%)
  13. Other reasons 4% (same in 2013)

Combine that with standard customer pleasers like excellent customer service and you’ll find the more you do online, the better your bottom line will do.

Online shopping hasn’t really replaced store shopping at a significant level because Canadian consumers have very good reasons for doing that as well. They like to be able to physically experience the product, make sure items fit, easily return purchases, and take the item home immediately. It isn’t an either/or scenario as was once feared. It’s now a matter of doing both in many cases, and taking it even further with omni-channel features.

If you’re ready to embrace online business and eCommerce but need some guidance, check out the following articles:
Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business
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)

Why do you think Canadians shop online and how are you using that knowledge to score their business?


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

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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I think selection is the top reason for most canadians.


Convenience all the way for me but I still choose Canadian over other places when I can find the thing I’m looling for.


I think selection trumps everything else in Canada. We’ve been starved for variety for a long time. The internet is very exciting.