E-commerce represented 3.9% of total Canadian retail sales in 2021 and rose to 6.2% in 2022. The industry is expected to generate USD 40.3 billion in sales by 2025.
After a sharp increase at the onset of the COVID pandemic, retail e-commerce sales have receded as of July 2022 but remain well above pre-pandemic levels in Canada. Although negatively affected by the reopening of physical retail stores, e-commerce remains a popular option for Canadian consumers. In 2022, categories such as electronics (31.9%), clothing (19%), and sporting goods (18.7%) saw the highest percentage of total online sales, while vehicles (2.9%) and food and beverages (1.8%) observed relatively low activity online. Credit cards emerged as the most prevalent payment option, with Mastercard being the most popular payment-processing company, holding a market share of 53.6%.
Since Canada’s e-commerce infrastructure is closely integrated with the United States’, U.S.-based e-commerce sites can leverage certain advantages. Firms do not need to set up a separate domain, and Canada demonstrates similar cultural and market trends. Furthermore, there is relatively low market concentration, with the five largest companies only taking up 40% of the market.
However, there are obstacles. Products need to meet customs and labelling requirements for Canada.
The official languages are English and French, and websites and customer service may need to be offered in both languages to remain competitive in some geographic regions. The Country Commercial Guide from the U.S. Commercial Service in Canada is a valuable resource for obtaining information about Canada’s customs regulations, labeling guidelines, and language requirements.
For more information about opportunities for U.S. companies in the consumer goods industry in Canada, and how the U.S. Commercial Service in Canada assists U.S. exporters, visit www.trade.gov/canada
For further information contact: Commercial Specialist Cat Le