Online Shopping Has Doubled In Canada During The Pandemic: Report

Online shopping in Canada has doubled this year, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

The Ottawa-based statistical agency says that Canadian consumers have embraced online shopping since lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic were instituted this spring. The agency found that total retail sales fell by 17.9% as Canadians sheltered in place between February and May and brick-and-mortar stores shutdown.

However, shoppers rushed to make online purchases during the same period, with Internet-based sales surging 99.3%. Statistics Canada says e-commerce sales hit a record $3.9 billion in May, a 2.3% increase over April and 99.3% higher than in February of this year.

E-commerce sales in May more than doubled year-over-year, with a 110.8% increase compared with May 2019. The Statistics Canada report found that all 11 online retail subsectors have seen sales increases during the pandemic.

From February to April, only the food and beverage subsector saw an increase of in-store sales, which were up 3.3%, while e-commerce sales surged 107%. In-store sales declined for general merchandise stores, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, and health and personal care stores.