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An Overview of E-Commerce Trends in Canada

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Basic elements to consider for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) doing business in Canada via e-commerce channels

Quick facts

Consumer spending

Top devices used for making online purchases (2016)

Top packaged foods sold online, 2016 C$ millions

Dairy made up 24.6% of online packaged food sales in 2016.

Baby food saw the highest growth rate of 26.8% from 2012 to 2016.

Categories Internet Retailing
Dairy 34.3
Savoury Snacks 26.1
Sauces, dressings and condiments 20.5
Rice, pasta and noodles 13.5
Soup 11.6
Ice cream and frozen desserts 8.5
Baked goods 5.9
Baby food 3.1
Sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks 3.1
Confectionery 3
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Canadian customer behaviour & trends

Canadian consumers are starting to purchase more food and drink items online due to rising initiatives (i.e. click-and-collect strategies) that make it easier for consumers to shop online. This is an opportunity for Canadian SMEs and speciality retailers to sell more products online.

Canadian shoppers want:

Canadian consumers have high access to devices and internet subscriptions and are willing to shop online.

Understanding Canada’s online marketplace

Canada’s top online retailers C$ millions

Company name C$ millions Inc 2,449.3
Wal-Mart Stores Inc 758.9
Costco Wholesale Corp 153.8 Inc 89.1
Longo Bros Fruit Markets Inc 58.5

Note: Only includes top retailers that sell groceries online.

Data represents total e-commerce sales (i.e. food and other products).

Amazon saw the highest sales in internet retailing with a growth rate of 9.2% from 2012 to 2016. Wal-Mart saw the most dynamic growth in internet retail sales with a growth rate of 56.9% from 2012 to 2016 due to initiatives such as its “click and collect” program (Grab & Go).

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

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An overview of e-commerce trends in Canada (PDF Version, 225 KB)

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