Canada Ecommerce Forecast 2021

Strong Growth Continues on Top of Historic Highs

Executive Summary

Retail ecommerce grew an astounding 75.0% in Canada last year, more than all but one country we forecast (Argentina). Mandated distanced purchasing rapidly accelerated an existing movement toward online shopping. The necessity of it forced retailers to sell more online, and eager consumers lapped it up. In 2021, growth will remain strong.

What will the post-pandemic retail market look like in Canada?

Canada’s total retail sector will rebound this year, growing by 6.4% after a decline of 4.6% in 2020. The biggest change corresponds with the relative shares of brick-and-mortar versus ecommerce retail, the latter of which will account for 13.4% of all retail this year, up from 6.9% in 2019, before the pandemic changed consumer behavior.

How much will consumers in Canada spend on ecommerce in 2021?

Retail ecommerce sales will reach CA$86.52 billion ($64.51 billion) this year, almost double 2019’s total. Growth is expected to be 12.0%, following 2020’s whopping 75.0% growth.

How much of ecommerce is done on mobile devices?

Mcommerce sales will account for CA$29.42 billion ($21.93 billion), equal to 34.0% of retail ecommerce. The increased availability of shopping apps and social commerce is driving mobile’s increased share.

How many digital buyers are there in Canada?

This year, there will be 24.2 million digital buyers in Canada. Digital buying includes buying on mobile devices, buying through social media, using click and collect, and engaging in cross-border commerce.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers our latest forecasts for total retail, ecommerce, and mcommerce sales in Canada and outlines the number and types of digital buyers in the country.

KEY STAT: Retail ecommerce grew 75.0% in 2020, one of the biggest leaps forward in our worldwide forecast.

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Paul Briggs


Ethan Cramer-Flood
Forecasting Writer
Zach Goldner
Junior Forecasting Analyst
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher

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