March 21, 2016

Majority of Canadian internet users report preferring Canadian companies for e-commerce purchases

TORONTO--Canadians cite benefit to the Canadian economy (44 percent), the cost of delivery (19 percent), the Canadian dollar (17 percent), and customs charges (16 percent) as the key factors behind preferring to make online purchases on Canadian websites.

In its latest report in a series about the state of the Canadian Internet, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) investigates the growing importance of e-commerce to Canadian retailers. CIRA's research looked at online purchasing behaviours of both Internet users and small business owners.

"Digital technology has fundamentally changed how the retail sector engages with its customers," says David Fowler, director of marketing and communications for CIRA. "Our research is showing that businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from a strong online presence. As Canadian brands take on global markets and as local businesses add digital tools to their marketing mix, the .CA domain is a strong online home for Canadian business."

Key findings from the report:

62 percent of Canadian Internet users prefer making purchases from Canadian websites over American ones.

Respondents cited a desire to support Canadian businesses as a key motivator (44 percent), but also logistical concerns such as delivery costs (19 percent), the exchange rate (17 percent) and customs charges (16 percent).

CIRA's data suggests that many shoppers are embracing "hybrid" retail experiences that blend both online and offline shopping. 47 percent of respondents indicated that they often do product research online, but buy items in store.

Only 19 percent indicated that they often do the reverse. 76 percent of respondents said that they look online for product pricing information.

Canadian Internet users commonly purchase clothing (42 percent), travel (40 percent), books (34 percent), show and game tickets (33 percent), and electronics (32 percent). Business owners also purchase travel (61 percent), but are more likely to access government services (37 percent) or office supplies (34 percent) from online stores than the average Canadian Internet user.

Laptop and desktop computers still dominate e-commerce, but mobile devices are also important. Younger shoppers have embraced mobile devices, with more than one-fifth (22 percent) making purchases from their mobile phones. 20 percent of adults 18-55 are shopping from tablets.

CIRA's Internet Factbook is produced with data collected from a study of Canadian Internet users by The Strategic Counsel. Additional data on Canada's Internet and trends in digital behaviour can be downloaded at

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-based organization, CIRA also develops and implements policies that support Canada's Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.



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