Canadians Not Yet Sold on E-Commerce, Research Reveals

We know that Canadians lead the world in online engagement. So it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that we’re not yet comfortable with online commerce.

As it turns out, Canadians still prefer shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores, according to a new research report from The Boston Consulting Group. The report, which was commissioned by Google, compared the internet economies of several major countries, including France, Australia, and Germany.

BCG found that Canada is “average” among its peers with regards to its internet economy. Online retail would certainly give us a boost, if Canadians were to engage. That, apparently, it a big “if.”

As it stands now, e-commerce accounted for just 3.4% of our country’s total spending in 2010. By 2016, this number is expected to rise to a more respectable 5.3%.

But even that remains relatively low. Already, the G20 average is 6%, and the developed market average is 8.5%. The U.K. is the clear global leader in this space: a stunning 23% of the country’s spending is from online commerce. Our closest neighbour, the U.S., sits at 7.1% currently.

“There are areas where Canada is doing quite well and there are other areas where we can see space for improvement, and it’s the sort of improvement that will drive economic growth over the next five to 10 years, that can be quite significant,” Google executive Colin McKay said in an interview with Matt Hartley of the Financial Post.