April 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

Canadian e-commerce sales grow 26%, led by business-to-consumer sector

E-commerce sales totaled C$62.7 billion last year, up from C$49.9 billion in 2006. Business-to-consumer sales grew to 38% of Canadian e-commerce in 2007, up from 32% the prior year.

Canadian e-commerce grew 26% to C$62.7 billion (US$61.7 billion) in 2007, up from C$49.9 billion the year before. Business-to-consumer sales grew to 38% of Canadian e-commerce in 2007, up from 32% the prior year, according to a new report from Statistics Canada, a government data-collection agency.

Retail sales accounted for 10% of total e-commerce activity. Customers outside of Canada made 19% of the purchases at Canadian e-commerce sites, about the same as in the two prior years.

8% of private sector firms sell online, and e-commerce accounts for nearly 2% of the revenue of those firms, the report says. About 16% of public sector organizations sell online.

Asked about the benefits of doing business online, 30% of private sector firms cited lower costs, up from 27% the prior year; 36% cited reaching new customers, unchanged from 2006; 36% pointed to better coordination with suppliers, customers or partners, up from 35%; 19% said reduced time to market, down from 20%; and 10% cited no benefits, up from 8% the year before.

Statistics Canada compiles the data from surveys of 19,000 organizations. Responding to the survey is mandatory.

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