Canada sees a record spike in online shopping this year

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Published November, 26 2020

Canada sees a record spike in online shopping this year

As consumers return back to normal, Canada is all set to touch new records for online shopping. Statistics Canada’s estimate showcases that e-commerce sales doubled from February to May, just before the pandemic started to spread.

While online shopping came down in summer from $4 billion in May 2020 is on its way to achieving the results of 2019. Last year, E-commerce sales accounted for a total of $305 billion - a figure that has multiplied tremendously since 2013. It includes both B2B and B2C sales.

On the other hand, Google Canada conducted a survey in October 2020 amongst 600 respondents. 70% of people said that they prefer online shopping for holiday gifts. This statistic came just ahead of Toronto’s lockdown, driving non-essential retailers to focus on online selling. Since only the groceries and pharmacies are open for the next 28 days, online sales are set to see a spike in the coming weeks.

Canada is going through strict COVID-19 restrictions as the case count continues to rise. While online sales have boosted, several retailers like Le Chateau, GNC Holdings, Mountain Equipment Cooperative, and many others have filed for creditor protection.

But this is not a cause for concern. Last year, online sales contributed to 8% of revenue for Canadian small businesses with five or more employees. A report by Statistics Canada also shows that as of 2019, 23 percent of the revenue of small businesses came from online sales as compared to 39 percent of large retailers.

Wholesalers and shippers continue to be trending amongst consumers rather than retail purchases - a trend that is more likely to continue as people are locked in their houses.


The total contribution of wholesalers last year was $85 billion. Transportation and warehousing accounted for $60 billion. Manufacturing delivered $38 billion in revenue. On the contrary, retailers saw a figure of $22 billion nationwide. With the increasing demand for home delivery of goods, it is estimated that transportation and warehousing are all set to break their earlier records.

In 2019, Statistics Canada showcased that 1 in every 4 businesses in Canada was involved in online sales. The majority of people bought goods in bulk from wholesalers, meaning that most sales were business-to-business last year. However, with the lockdown imposition, it is estimated that retail sales will go uphill as people continue to purchase things from the comfort of their homes.

Canada is set to enter the holiday season, with online sales like Black Friday, Cyber Monday are booming at a rapid rate. By the end of the year, it is possible that online shopping will surpass the revenue in the last months of 2020 as compared to those months in 2019.

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