Canadian E-Commerce Is Heating Up: eMarketer

Once cool to Internet shopping, Canadian consumers are going online in record numbers.

DECEMBER 5, 2007 – For a number of years no one paid much attention to Canadian B2C e-commerce. There simply wasn�t much of a market there.

Now all online retailers are looking to the north.

�The Canadian dollar�s rise against the US dollar has led to a surge in Canadian cross-border online shopping,� says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, Canada B2C E-Commerce: The Barriers Melt. �It is providing a big boost to home-grown Canadian e-commerce, too.�

Even before the currency shift, there was evidence of Canadian B2C e-commerce taking off. In April 2007, Statistics Canada reported that online retail sales in Canada grew by a healthy 70% in 2006.

�eMarketer estimates that this year Canadians will spend C$15.7 billion (US$14.7 billion) online on products and services such as online travel reservations and event tickets,� says Mr. Grau. �We also include purchases made with foreign Web retailers, the majority of which are on US sites.�

By 2011, online spending will more than double, reaching C$37.2 billion (U$30.2 billion).

�Of course, Canadian B2C e-commerce still has plenty of room to grow,� says Mr. Grau.

Even taking into account that Canada has one-ninth the population of the US, it is still a disproportionately small e-commerce market. Only 78% of Canadian online users are online shoppers, compared to nearly 85% of US users who shop online.

�In addition, the average Canadian online buyer will spend less than a US online buyer this year,� says Mr. Grau.

The major shift in the size of the Canadian B2C market will come as more Canadian retailers move online.

�Even now, only about 15% of retailers in Canada sell online,� says Mr. Grau. �But those that are taking the plunge say an online presence is critical to acquiring new customers.�

To find out more about what is causing the Canadian market to heat up, read the new eMarketer report, Canada B2C E-Commerce: The Barriers Melt, today.

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