Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2016

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

E-commerce retail sales in Canada hit $1.7 billion, which accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales in Canada. But if this share appears low, a coming report says digitalization will significantly change the retail environment, away from brick and mortar stores towards online shopping.

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Titled Me, My Life, My Wallet, the report prepared by KPMG shows that an increasing number of Canadian shoppers are turning to online channels, led by the fast-growing Gen Y and Z demographics. While e-commerce adoption in Canada lags other developed countries, Canadians’ buying habits are evolving and they are gradually migrating online, driven by the growing need for convenience and personalization, according to a release.

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Millennials — already the largest generation in the Canadian workforce, according to the report — will soon be the world’s largest single demographic group. This sociological status will reshape the Canadian retail industry. Since four of 10 millennials live with their parents, their buying habits are rubbing off on their Boomer parents, it reads. This merging of two cohorts will reshape retailing, the report predicts.

This said, the report notes that many Canadian retailers remain “stuck in a Boomer mentality.”


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