Huge Online Shopping Statistics for 2021 [Infographic]

Throughout 2020, businesses all over the world promptly changed the way they operate to reach their customers amidst the challenges of social distancing and lockdowns. 

At the same time, some people had to come to terms with buying online. 

Elsewhere, old one-time buyers turned to ecommerce with more confidence. Many became hyper buyers, getting the most of their goods and services online.

Now:

Online shopping statistics show that the boost the COVID-19 pandemic gave global web commerce also gave a nudge to the reluctant ones, both retailers and consumers. As a result, over 2.14 billion people are expected to shop online in 2021.

Let’s see what the statistics have to say.

Smashing Online Shopping Trends (Editor’s Choice)

  • Worldwide online sales were US$3.9 trillion at the end of 2020.
  • 22% of global sales will be conducted online by 2023.
  • Online sales in Canada will be up by 7.7% in 2021.
  • Canadian ecommerce sales in 2019 amounted to nearly US$25.3 billion
  • Online sales in the Great White North will reach US$36.5 billion in 2024.
  • 37% of online shoppers are Baby Boomers.
  • 42% of online buyers are couples without children. 
  • 58% of online buyers make more than seven purchases a year.

Global Online Shopping Statistics

online shopping statistics

1. Worldwide online sales hit US$3.9 trillion, online shopping statistics for 2020 reveal.

(Source: Statista, Statista)

This figure is up from US$3.5 trillion in 2019. The Asia-Pacific region leads with US$2.45 trillion. China is the top contributor. The fastest growth of the online retail market is happening in India, Spain, and China. 

The second leading region is North America. Online sales there are estimated at US$749 billion.

Western Europe estimates are around $498.32 billion. Central and Eastern lag considerably, with only around $92.91 billion.

Latin America and Africa were projected to reach $83.63 billion and $41.56 billion in revenues before the end of 2020, respectively.

2. Around 22% of global sales will be done online by 2023.

(Source: Statista)

Worldwide online shopping statistics show that the share of online retail sales in 2019 accounted for 14.1% of global retail sales. The share of e-retail sales is expected to rise to nearly one-quarter by 2023.

3. Global CAGR rate for 2020-2024 is projected to be 8.1%.

(Source: Statista)

The compound annual growth rate for the period from 2020 to 2024 is the highest in Turkey – 20.2%. Globally, CAGR is 8.1% for the observed period, while Canada can expect a rate of 6.7%.

4. 80% of researched world regions set ecommerce records in December 2020.

(Source: Shippy Pro)

There has never been a holiday season like this one, with the vast majority of countries setting records in online sales. This happened due to a combination of factors. Consumers’ habits from the first half of the year combined with the second or, in some regions, third wave of the pandemic and made COVID sales reach new heights.


Online Shopping Statistics for Canada since 2019

5. Ecommerce Canada sales in November 2019 were $53,178 million.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Electronic shopping and mail-order house sales accounted for $1,775 million, and retail ecommerce for $2,430. Some 4.42% of all retail sales were online. 

In November 2020, online sales accounted for $55,435 million, recording a 4.2% year-over-year increase. 

Electronic shopping and mail-order houses sales were at $2,704 million, with a 52.3% year-over-year increase, while retail web commerce made $4,274 million. This represents a whopping 75.9% rise from 2019.

6. Online sales in Canada will be up by 7.7% in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

According to ecommerce statistics, online retail sales in 2019 went up by 8.1% from 2018.  A more significant and understandable jump happened in 2020 when sales grew by 12.3%.

What’s more:

Online retail sales will be up by 7.7% in 2021, then 7.2% in 2022, and 6.1% in 2023, a welcome prospect for small businesses in particular. This growth is expected to slow down by 2024 to an increase of 4.9% from the previous year.

7. The Canadian ecommerce industry revenue is projected to be US$32.804 billion in 2022.

(Source: Statista)

Canada retail e-commerce sales in 2019 amounted to nearly US$25.3 billion and are projected to increase to US$36.5 billion.

Retail ecommerce revenue for the period between 2017 to 2024 in Canada:

  • 2017 – US$ 21.975 billion
  • 2018 – US$ 23.402 billion
  • 2019 – US$ 25.306 billion
  • 2020 – US$ 28.418 billion
  • 2021 – US$ 30.597 billion
  • 2022 – US$ 32.804 billion
  • 2023 – US$ 34.811 billion
  • 2024 – US$ 36.522 billion

8. Online shopping statistics for Canada from 2020 predict desktop sales revenues will reach US$64 billion by 2023.

(Source: Statista, Statista)

Canadians mostly use their computers when it comes to online shopping, as many as 73%.

Around 25% reported using tablets, according to the data from March 2020.

Online sales that came from desktop computers in Canada generated US$46 billion in revenue, with mobile generating another US$15 billion.

And that’s not all:

Ecommerce stats predict that in 2023, these sums will rise to US$64 billion for desktop and US$25 billion for mobile. 

9. 41% of Canadians buy computers and electronics online, making it the leading ecommerce category.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

Online shopping trends show computers and electronics, women’s apparel, and books are the top three categories that currently rule the online sales segment. But others are catching up! Men also buy clothing online, and the category is in fourth place, along with beauty products.

The average number of categories Canadians bought online was 4.8 in 2019.

Here’s the percentage of people shopping from each product category:

  • 41% computers and electronics 
  • 37% women’s apparel
  • 31% books 
  • 28% men’s apparel
  • 28% beauty products 
  • 22% footwear 
  • 21% home and garden 
  • 19% health products 
  • 19% office supplies 
  • 18% toys 
  • 17% jewellery 
  • 16% CDs, records, videos 
  • 16% automotive 
  • 16% home decor 
  • 16% children’s apparel
  • 15% sporting goods
  • 15% small appliances
  • 13% collectables
  • 13% groceries (non-perishable)
  • 11% software/games
  • 10% baby products or supplies
  • 10% furniture
  • 10% pet food or supplies
  • 8% groceries (perishable)
  • 4% large appliances
  • 5% other

10. Canadian online clothing stores will be making around $5.14 billion by 2022.

(Source: Statista, Statista)

The market share of the clothes and accessories segment in Canadian online retail was 26.1% in 2019. Online clothing sales in Canada will go up to an impressive $5.14 billion Canadian by 2022. In 2018, this sum was only $3.45 billion.

11. Faster shipping ensures 71% of online shoppers will buy from a retailer more often, online shopping statistics reveal.

(Source: Canada Post

Shipment and delivery are often crucial in deciding to purchase an item online. So, it should come as no surprise that 86% of online buyers will shop more frequently if a retailer offers free shipping.

In fact, 37% of people will abandon the cart if delivery info is not offered in advance. Research shows that if you offer faster shipping, 75% of shoppers will choose to buy from you more frequently. And if you offer flexible delivery, 67% will choose to do so.

But wait! There’s more:

Rewards and discounts are a way to make 71% of buyers visit shopping websites more often.

But once they’ve had a bad return experience, 79% won’t shop again from the same retailer.


Canadian Online Shopper Demographics Stats

12. Women make up 51% of Canadians shopping online.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

Talking about online shopping vs in store shopping, men still feel the hunting instinct effect. When it comes to shopping, they like to go out, drive to the store, pick up the items, and bring them home. In contrast, women simply want the things they need to be there.

Now:

Among online shoppers in 2019, 48% were men, and 52% were women. The percentages moved slightly in 2020 when the number was 49% to 51%.

Women online shopping tend to do more research and look for discounts and bargains. Click To Tweet

13. The average annual household income of Canadian online shoppers was $102,306 in 2020.

(Source: Small Business Canada, Canadians Internet)

That figure stood at $92,656 in 2019. Online shopping in Canada can be done anywhere and by anyone, but some groups are more likely to do that than others.

Here’s the deal:

In 2019, 45% of those living in urban areas shopped online, compared to 36% of those living in suburban areas. Canadians living in rural areas shopped online the least, only 19%.

The numbers slightly changed in 2020, with 41% of buyers reported living in urban locations,

38% in the suburbs, and 21% in rural regions.

14. Up to 42% of online buyers in 2020 were couples without children.

(Source: Small Business Canada, Canadians Internet)

Over one-third of online shoppers in 2019 were couples without children, 38%, and 22% were couples with children. Some 19% of those shopping in Canadian stores online were single and living alone, while 13% were single and living with other adults. Around 8% of online shoppers were single parents.

In 2020, these numbers looked like this – 42% of buyers were couples without children, 23% were couples with children, 20% were living alone, and 30% were living with dependent children. 

Next:

15. Baby Boomers represent 37% of online shoppers.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

The two age groups that engage in ecommerce the most are, surprisingly, Baby Boomers and Millennials. While intuitively, it might seem Generation X would have the highest number of shoppers, online shopping seems to be somewhat lagging in their generation.

In 2019, online shoppers were:

  • 35% Baby Boomers; 53-72 years old
  • 32% Millennials; 24-37 years old
  • 28% Generation X; 38-52 years old
  • 5% pre-Boomers; over 73

In 2020, the age cohorts among online shoppers looked like this:

  • 37% were 53-72 years old
  • 28% were 24-37 years old
  • 25% were 38-52 years old
  • 5% were 18-23
  • 5% were over 73

16. 95% of online buyers prefer Facebook as a platform through which they find merchants.

(Source: Canadians Internet)

Social media became an important sales channel, with 55% of online retailers offer their products on such platforms. Up to 46% of buyers came to sellers’ websites through ads on social media.

Platforms and percentage of shoppers that prefer each platform:

  • 95% Facebook
  • 69% Instagram
  • 14% Twitter
  • 11% Pinterest
  • 3% Snapchat

17. 75% of Canadians shopping online use online marketplaces, and 42% of merchants sell there.

(Source: Canadians Internet)

The  most used marketplaces of top online retailers in Canada are: 

  • 72% Amazon.ca
  • 9% eBay
  • 7% Walmart Canada
  • 6% Best Buy Canada
  • 3% Etsy Canada
  • 2% Newegg Canada

18. 58% of online buyers in 2019 made over seven purchases a year.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

These groups, referred to as frequent, power, and hyper/elite hyper buyers, make up 58% of all online shoppers. This percentage has gone up significantly from 43% in 2016

Check this out:

The group of hyper elite shoppers, those who buy things online 41 times a year, has doubled. At this point, there is a group of people who buy more online than in-store, and the category of one-time buyers is almost gone.

19. Online shopping statistics show 60% of all Canadian online trade is done by hyper buyers.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

The hyper and hyper elite buyers number around four million people, with an average household income of $106,000 per year. 41% are Millennials, 35% belong to Generation X, and 42% have children.

The top categories for hyper/hyper elite buyers are computers and electronics (58%) and women’s apparel (61%), and 43% plan to buy even more in the coming year.

20. 34% of Hyper/Hyper Elite buyers adopt new technology early and fast.

(Source: Small Business Canada)

Some 46% of hyper buyers use Google Assistant or Siri on their mobile devices. Around 32% use a voice-activated speaker for online shopping, and 32% track their packages using a smartwatch. Up to 39% pay for goods and services with this device.


Online Shopping Statistics during COVID

21. Canadian shopping keyword search jumps to 22.200 a month for “buy online” in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

The number of searches for the keyword “buy online” was averaging around 18,100 a month before the pandemic pushed the number to 22,200 hits when everyone suddenly started shifting away from visiting brick-and-mortar stores.

22. In-store sales dropped by 25.3% in April 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Retail sales numbers paint the clearest picture for April 2020 when the sales dropped to $33.9 billion, a massive 29.1% decrease from February. Compared to April 2019, there was a 26.4% drop year on year.

Overall, in-store sales decreased by 25.3%, while online shopping increased by 63.8% in April. Total retail started coming back in May, with $39.3 billion in sales.

23. Online sales increased by 110.8% year on year in May 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Online shopping statistics show that in the first part of the year, retail sales dropped by 17.9% from February to May when the pandemic measures started. At the same time, ecommerce retail sales jumped by 99.3%.

Online retail sales hit $3.9 billion in May 2020, recording a 2.3% rise from April and almost doubling from $2 billion in February. Looking at May 2019, sales increased by 110.8% year on year.

24. Supermarket sector online traffic went up by 34.8% between January and October 2020.

(Source: Statista, Statista)

Globally, the pandemic’s effects were most visible in the supermarket sector, as online grocery shopping became necessary. In the same period from January to October 2020, online tourist traffic decreased by 43.7%.

25. Up to 80% of Canadians shopped online in 2020.

(Source: Canada Post)

The boost that buying online got from the lockdowns and social distancing will still be felt in 2023, when online spending could potentially reach $108 billion. There’s a lot of room for ecommerce to grow, as 60% of all online purchases at the moment are done by 18% of Canadian online buyers.

What’s more: 

Around 40% of Canadians reported planning to focus on domestic purchases from now on. Some 61% have said they prefer the delivery being handled by Canadian companies.

26. Canadian ecommerce year-on-year growth will be 10% in 2021.

(Source: Shippy Pro)

Year on year growth of ecommerce around the world will range from 2% to 15%, depending on the country. That number is 7% for the US, while ecommerce in Canada will see a robust 10% YoY growth.

27. 45% of online sales go to websites outside of Canada.

(Source: The Paypers, Small Business Canada, Retail Insider)

As much as 45% of all ecommerce in Canada is done through websites in the US, Asia, and Europe. This makes the stats on Canadian online shopping habits less than perfect, as Statistics Canada only takes into account domestic online sales.

Now:

Around 41% of respondents said they shop on non-Canadian websites because of the lower prices, and 23% said they do so because they are offered better choice options. Consumers say that even with duty and taxes, they can still get a good deal abroad. More than 90% of hyper shoppers are buying from outside the country.


Ecommerce Platforms in Canada 

28. Amazon dominates Canadian ecommerce, with up to 42% of respondents having Prime membership in 2019.

(Source: Retail Insider, Finder)

Amazon, eBay, and Walmart are the first choices for many looking for online shopping sales, as well as Wish and Instacart.

Around 63% of respondents used Amazon to find new products, and 42% had Amazon Prime membership.

Below, you can find some of the best online shopping sites in Canada in the most popular web commerce categories.

The best online shopping sites in Canada for electronics:

  • Dell
  • Best Buy
  • Sony
  • Dyson
  • Lenovo
  • SimCorner
  • The Source

Top fashion online retailers in Canada:

  • PrettyLittleThing
  • Missguided
  • Boohoo
  • Wish
  • Amazon
  • ASOS
  • Adidas
  • Gymshark
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Roots
  • Shein
  • Superdry
  • Moosejaw
  • RoseGal
  • Showpo
  • All Saints
  • DressLily
  • Mark’s
  • TM Lewin
  • Bloomingdales
  • French Connection

The best online retailers in the homewares category:

  • Home Depot
  • Canadian Tire
  • Walmart
  • Casper
  • Vistaprint
  • Purple
  • Etsy
  • AliExpress
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • eBay

Canadian shopping sites for top online health, sportswear, and beauty retailers:

  • Well.ca
  • Groupon
  • Sephora
  • Reebok
  • Golf Town
  • Puma
  • Fitflop
  • Weight Watchers
  • Mac
  • Lululemon
  • Clearly Contacts

The Bottom Line

Canadian online shopping trends show that a significant percentage of online trade happens through marketplaces and merchants outside Canada. However, these stats are not included in the Statistics Canada reports. As a result, the numbers of purchases and the stats regarding shopping behaviour might seem lower than they actually are. 

The thing is:

Delivery and prices still drive many to buy from the US, especially in the group of most frequent buyers. Still, around 40% of Canadian online shoppers plan to buy from inside the country in 2021

FAQ

What percentage of purchases are online?

At the moment, 14.1% of all retail purchases are done online, while this number is projected to rise to 22% in 2023.

How many online shoppers are there in 2020?

In 2021, the number of online shoppers is 2.14 billion or 27.6% of the world’s population. The number grew by 4.4% or 900 million people from 2020 to 2021.

Who buys online the most?

The age group that buys online the most in Canada is the Baby Boomers, with 37%. Regarding gender, 51% of online shoppers are women, while men still prefer brick-and-mortar. Mobile ecommerce sales are projected to reach 34% of total online retail sales in Canada in 2021, online shopping statistics reveal.

 

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