Canadians are said to be one of the heaviest internet users in the world, with 96.3 percent of its population currently online.
With such widespread internet usage, it is unsurprising that the Canadian e-commerce sector has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Following similar global patterns, traditional retail sales have slowed in Canada in the last decade. Still, the retail sector as a whole is growing, with e-commerce gradually making up a more significant percentage.
According to Statista and export.gov, Canadian e-commerce retail trade sales amounted to almost 1.6 billion Canadian dollars in 2018, with 19.8 million Canadians making purchases online. By 2022, the number of online consumers is expected to increase to 28.3 million — translating to 76.36 percent of the population.
Despite the obvious appetite for online shopping in Canada, Canadian businesses were relatively slow to shift toward e-commerce. As a result, the majority of top e-commerce platforms in Canada are US-founded businesses that have capitalized on the gap to give local consumers the convenience they so desire.
Thankfully, Canadian businesses have been quick to course-correct, and the local e-commerce space is picking up, with bricks and mortar retailers investing more in their e-commerce presence, and new, purely online players entering the market.
Top 10 E-Commerce Sites in Canada
To paint a more complete picture of the Canadian e-commerce sector, we have delved into the website analytics tool, SimilarWeb, analyzing the top-performing e-commerce sites to bring you Canada’s top 10 performers.
While every top 10 list is going to feature the behemoths — like Amazon and eBay — this does not mean that there is no space for local brands to participate and successfully compete in the Canadian e-commerce sector.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 160.45 million
Amazon Canada taking top spot should be of no surprise. The Amazon brand is the largest in the world, and the Amazon Canada brand is the 5th largest in Canada.
Operating across a variety of categories, Amazon leads the entire e-commerce and shopping sector, with a particularly large place in the computers and electronics category in Canada. Its success is primarily due to its diversity, with everything on offer from electronics, to books, streaming and TV. Meaning Amazon Canada attracts audiences across the board.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 55.81 million
The Canadian-born classifieds site Kijiji allows users to buy, sell, or trade almost anything, making it a wildly popular platform for Canadians in the market for, well, anything.
Kijiji is not only the number 1 classifieds site in Canada, but it’s also the 8th largest in the world. Its audience is broad, attracting customers looking to buy or sell new and used items from furniture to cars, real estate to vacation rentals, jobs, services, and a whole lot more.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 33 million
Another US-founded superpower, Walmart is the world’s largest retail corporation, leading in both the bricks and mortar and e-commerce sectors in the US, Canada, Mexico, and many other markets.
Offering a range of products in categories including electronics, baby goods, video games, fashion, pharmacy, home equipment, and auto-parts, Walmart attracts a broad range of customer types. General e-commerce and shopping, and home and garden are making up two of the more significant segments.
4. eBay Canada
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 28.22 million
eBay is one of the e-commerce pioneers, setting up from the US as a marketplace to buy and sell, long before many retailers had considered going online.
eBay Canada was established in 2000 and has since been a leader in the Canadian e-commerce market. The site offers customers a platform to buy and sell electronics, cars, fashion apparel, collectibles, sporting goods, digital cameras, baby items, coupons, and everything else one can think of.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 31.96 million
Best Buy is a US-born retailer that entered the e-commerce space early in the piece and has since become a giant in the consumer electronics and home appliances category.
Established in 2002, Best Buy Canada is the largest e-commerce site in the consumer electronics category. However, they offer a vast selection of products in categories including electronics, appliances, furniture, fitness, travel, baby products, and more.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 25.50 million
Canadian Tire is a local success story, owning chains of 500+ retail stores across the country, as well as three additional brands “Mark’s”, specializing in men’s, women’s and work apparel; “FGL Sports”, specializing in sporting goods and sportswear; and “PartSource”, specializing in auto parts and accessories.
With the diversity of its brands, the Canadian Tire e-commerce site sells a wide range of automotive, hardware, sports and leisure, home products, toys, and food products to a wide range of consumers.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 22.67 million
Costco is an American multinational organization with a vast footprint across the globe with both bricks and mortar and e-commerce presence in numerous countries.
Costco Canada leads in both the home and garden and computer and electronics categories, meeting the needs for Canadians seeking electronics, computers, furniture, outdoor living, appliances, jewelry, and more – particularly attracting consumers who want low warehouse prices on name-brands that can be delivered to their door.
8. Hudson’s Bay
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 14.95 million
Hudson’s Bay, also known as The Bay, is a chain of department stores in Canada and the Netherlands, which has developed a successful e-commerce brand specializing in handbags, women’s and men’s clothing and shoes, and housewares.
Online Hudson’s Bay are leaders in the fashion and apparel, and beauty and cosmetics categories, offering high-end fashion apparel, accessories, and home goods. As well as free shipping on orders over $99.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 11.67 million
Home Depot is the largest home improvement supplies retail company in the US, with a significant presence in Canada and Mexico, both online and in-store.
Leading in the home and garden category, Home Depot Canada caters to all consumers home improvement needs, with products including new appliances, bathroom and kitchen remodeling ideas, patio furniture, power tools, and associated services.
10. Newegg Canada
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 3.07 million
Another US success in the Canadian market is Newegg, an online retailer of computer hardware, software, and consumer and professional electronics from a range of international brands.
Launched in Canada in 2009, Newegg Canada leads as an e-commerce site for audiences searching for computer electronics and technology, video games, computer hardware, and programming and development software.
Canadian eCommerce Forecast
Despite US brands dominating the top 10, the steep adoption of digitization amongst retailers is likely to see a change in landscape over the coming years.
While Canadian born e-commerce sites may not make up the majority in the top 10, many SMEs are thriving in the Canadian e-commerce space, delivering products and services that this internet-savvy population is quite clearly seeking.
With the significant number of Canadians predicted to shop online in the coming years, we expect to see a number of new e-commerce businesses entering the market, as well as a sharp rise in existing retailers jumping online.
Considering all market factors, including internet usage and willingness to shop online, Canada is primed for significant growth in the e-commerce sector.