MONTREAL – Canadian online sales have doubled since March 11th, the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Online revenue has doubled since March 11th with an uptick of 99 percent, all sectors combined.
“Canada is on the digital tipping point. In the future, we will remember that there was a way of buying BEFORE COVID-19 and AFTER,” notes Charles Desjardins, partner and executive vice-president at Absolunet, which published the sales results.
“Every Canadian business’s eCommerce maturity is being tested and pushed to its limits. We’ve never seen this before.”
Online traffic, on the other hand, has gone down, showing that Canadian online shoppers are more decisive – doing less “window” shopping and making more purchases.
Every sector in the study experienced a strong uptick in sales. The study compared the 19 days between February 25, 2020 and March 20 against the 19 days between March 11 and 29. Average growth in sales was as follows:
Furniture and home decor, up 84 percent
Food and restaurants, up 194 percent
Clothing, up 62 percent
Sporting goods, up 85 percent
Household appliances, electronics, building materials and renovations, up 71 percent
Almost all merchants are seeing significant revenue lift on their digital channels, the report found. This is especially true for “essential” items, but even the “under-performers” in this context are seeing only limited drops. Those drops may be attributable to an inability to manage or deliver products for those shipping from stores or offering in-store pickup, as many or all stores may be closed.
eCommerce maturity (in terms of capacity, resource adaptability and operations) is enabling digitally mature companies to “turn on a dime” and quickly adapt to an increase in online demand
“Merchants who had 20 percent or more of the revenues coming from eCommerce before the crisis are better placed to come out of it strong,” concluded Desjardins.