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Almost 50% of online purchases in Canada made at foreign retail sites

Friday 31 March 2017 | 01:30 PM CET

Close to half of Canadian consumers’ online purchases are made at foreign retail sites.

These are the findings of a new report by E-Tail Canada, which also found that 62% of Canadian retailers surveyed saw the value of their online orders increase between 2015 and 2016. In addition, 71% saw their conversion rate grow.

That’s positive news for retailers given that Canadians are expected to spend USD 39 billion a year online by 2019, accounting for about 9.5% of all retail purchases, according to estimates from Forrester Research. 37% of Canadian retailers involved in the research currently offer customers so-called “cross-channel” returns or exchanges, allowing customers to return items in stores that they bought online, while 8% were in the process of implementing the capability and 13% planned to do so in the next two years. Similarly, 31% of retailers show web customers real-time store inventory online, while 15% were in the process of implementing the technology and 22 were planning to introduce it within the next two years.

Statistics Canada reported that Canadian ecommerce sales were USD 19.2 billion in 2016, with about 60% of the purchases made from domestic retailers and 40% from foreign retailers.

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