Canada’s e-commerce market is the fastest growing, research shows
Ecommerce is booming in Canada, but some of the country’s biggest retailers are struggling to stay afloat.
According to the annual report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the e-business sector is expected to grow about 7.5 per cent in 2017, up from 7.1 per cent a year ago.
The sector is now worth $18.9 billion.
The number of Canadian merchants selling on ecommerce sites has increased by 60 per cent since 2015.
The report says the sector has more than tripled in size over the last five years.
“We are going through a transformation in the ecommerce sector in Canada,” said Mark Boulton, president of the Canadian Association of Independent Grocers.
“The Canadian economy is going through something that is unprecedented in our country’s history.
The way the economy works is that it’s a very cyclical business.”
Boultons main concern is that the economy could continue to shrink if ecommerce continues to expand at a slower pace.
The report found that the market for ecommerce products and services grew by almost 11 per cent over the five-year period from 2014 to 2016.
The industry saw growth in terms of total sales and number of merchants, but also the number of online sellers and online retailers.
“In some cases the industry is going up, in other cases it’s going down,” Boulons chief of research said.
“And so we’ve seen the market in Canada for e-Commerce growing at a faster rate than the rest of the world.
And so we are seeing a lot of growth in the market.”
Boulton says he believes the growth in ecommerce is being driven by a number of factors, including the rise of e-book and e-textbooks, and the adoption of mobile devices.
“I think one of the factors that we’ve had to address in the last few years is how we can create a product that’s more appealing to consumers than e-books and ebooks alone,” he said.
In an attempt to help retailers, the Canadian Competition Bureau has been conducting research to see if e-selling has made consumers more willing to pay for goods.
The bureau’s research, which is expected next week, will look at the effectiveness of ecommerce advertising in creating a more positive consumer experience, and will look into ways to improve the quality of e commerce products.
“One of the big issues we’re going to be focusing on is whether there are any barriers that are preventing people from buying on e- commerce,” said Michael Pasternak, senior director of the bureau.
“And one of those barriers could be, you know, barriers to people being able to use their credit cards.”
In a statement, the bureau said that while it does not expect the impact of eCommerce to be large, it is investigating ways to better support the growth of e Commerce and to promote the development of the e commerce industry.