E-com in Canada nearly doubles since 2019: eMarketer

24 Jul '21
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock

E-commerce in Canada this year will grow by 12 per cent to reach CA$86.52 billion ($64.51 billion), almost double the sales volume of 2019, according to eMarketer, which recently said double-digit annual gains are expected till 2024. The shift to online shopping was slower to develop in Canada than in other countries, notably the United States, as eMarketer has been reporting for a decade.

If retail e-commerce was boosting overall retail growth over the past decade, the pandemic added rocket fuel to surge it ahead by many years, the company observed.

Well above double-digit annual growth was evident pre-pandemic—24 per cent in 2019 and 17 per cent in 2018. In 2020, Canada’s retail e-commerce economy grew by 75 per cent. That’s second only to Argentina—at 100.6 per cent—but well ahead of the United States at 32.4 per cent, and worldwide growth of 25.7 per cent, New York-based eMarketer said in a press release.

Canada had more room to grow, however, due to a confluence of supply-side factors that made online shopping more expensive for consumers over the past decade.

These included higher distribution costs serving a relatively spread-out population; domestic retail’s slow uptake of back-end ecommerce tech; and an onerous customs and duties regime that protected domestic retail from online competition from abroad, the market research company noted.

Growth will continue stronger than ever, as the pandemic forced the hand of many reticent retailers in the country that delayed investing in the channel.

As a share of total retail, e-commerce in Canada will account for 13.4 per cent this year and will climb to 17.2 per cent by 2025. That’s still well below the US share of 23.6 per cent expected in 2025.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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