The e-commerce scene—long percolating in this country but never boiling—has burst into life in recent months.
So confirms eMarketer, in a new forecast that predicts that digital purchases could account for 10 percent of all retail sales in Canada in the next four years.
Just-tallied numbers indicate that e-commerce purchases (excluding travel and event tickets) in this country accounted for $34.04 billion in 2016. About 6.5% of that total was the result of e-commerce sales.
By 2020, the American market research company predicts, e-commerce sales will top $55.78 billion, and will represent a tenth of the total retail pie.
This revised reality has a couple of examples of improved technology to thank for its evolution, namely:
- Brick-and-mortar retailers enhancing their offerings with more omnichannel shopping options;
- Consumers increasingly using their mobile phones to shop.
With this news, Canada advances to the same e-commerce echelons of double-digit growth that its retail counterparts in the US and the UK have long enjoyed. And no wonder. Research firm BrandSpark’s just-published E-Commerce Shopper Study reports that 90 percent of Canadians shop online, most several times a month.
Meanwhile, another e-commerce-sparked release, this from Bloomberg, describes a scene of upped demand for industrial space to accommodate e-commerce operations. Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust, Canada’s largest multi-tenant industrial landlord, has predicted that e-commerce will account for half of the company’s warehouse portfolio in the next few years—a significant leap from the 30 percent it represents today. Clients of this massive Vancouver company, which owns about 21 million square feet of space across more than 170 North American properties, include Best Buy and FedEx.