E-Commerce Now a Must in Certain Sectors

Why SMEs should take e-stores seriously

Written by Chris Powell for Marketing

Canadian businesses sold nearly $122 billion of goods and services online in 2012 according to new data released by Statistics Canada.

That was more than double the amount of internet sales in 2007 €“ the last time a survey of this kind was conducted. The manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade sectors accounted for more than 61% of total sales.

There is still ample room for e-commerce growth however. Only 11% of Canadian businesses made online sales of goods and services last year, up from 8% in 2007. Overall, e-commerce sales accounted for just 4% of the total sales of goods and services by Canadian businesses.

Online sales were highest in the wholesale trade sector, at $44.6 billion, while the percentage of firms selling online was highest in the information and cultural industries sector, at 35%.

The country’s largest companies dominated the online selling market, accounting for about $71.9 billion or 59% of the value of total online sales. Nearly one third of the country’s large enterprises sold their product online in 2012 said StatsCan.

Read The New Model That’s Making E-Commerce Accessible to SMEs

While 45% of Canadian businesses had a website in 2010, that number increased to 80% among companies with 10 or more employees. Canadian companies continued to rely heavily on traditional methods to draw traffic to their site however, with 35% using print advertising versus 22% using a paid search strategy.

Social media also plays a significant role in online business, with 33% of companies integrating social media tools such as the ability to export photos or share information through a “one-click” solution, and 34% using it to promote and direct traffic.

Read 3 Questions to Help Build Your E-Commerce Strategy

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