Online sales on track to reach record levels in Canada amid pandemic: report

This comes amid reintroduced restrictions on in-person shopping ahead of the holiday season

Retail online sales are on track to reach record levels in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency notes that measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have significantly affected how consumers make retail purchases.

“Statistics Canada previously reported that retail e-commerce sales more than doubled from February to May 2020, to a record of almost $4 billion in May,” the report states.

Retail online sales have since slowed as stores opened up for in-person shopping. However, as regions such as Ontario have reintroduced in-person restrictions in some areas ahead of the holiday season and Black Friday, online sales will likely increase once again.

Statistics Canada states that online sales in 2020 could beat 2019’s shopping sales of $305 billion. It’s worth noting that this figure has more than doubled since 2013.

Interestingly, the agency notes that online sales represented around eight percent of revenue for Canadian businesses up until last year. In terms of 2019, one-quarter of Canadian businesses had at least some e-commerce sales in 2019, while large businesses were the most likely to report online sales.

“To conduct sales online, over two-thirds of businesses with online sales used a company website, over one-third used another third-party website, platform, app or online marketplace, and just over one-tenth used a company app,” the report outlines.

It’s worth noting that digital adoption likely increased this year as many Canadian businesses had to shift their operations online due to early pandemic restrictions across the country.

We’ll likely see reports of higher numbers of Canadian businesses using a website or online marketplace in 2020 in Statistic Canada’s future reports that will be released next year after data is compiled.

This report from Statistics Canada comes as many Canadian companies including Aldo and Le Chateau have filed for bankruptcy protection this year.

Source: Statistics Canada