The eCommerce sector includes the online sale of physical goods to private end consumers (B2C). This explanation includes purchases made through handheld smart devices and desktops or laptops. Canada is the 10th largest eCommerce market with revenue of $35 billion in 2021, ahead of Australia and just behind Indonesia.
With a growth of 14%, the Canadian eCommerce sector contributed to the global growth rate of 29% in 2021. The global Coronavirus pandemic is the prime reason for the Canadian population to stick to e-commerce for their needs since people need to stay indoors to keep themselves protected against the deadly virus. Also, due to the virus, the brick-and-mortar stores had to take a backseat.
eCommerce sales continue to grow. New markets are evolving, but existing markets are capable of future growth. This is driven by East and Southeast Asia, with its growing middle class and declining offline shopping infrastructure.
Retail sales from global eCommerce are expected to grow from 3.53 trillion dollars in 2019 to 6.54 trillion dollars in 2023. Thanks to its considerable digital population, Canada has become a robust and profitable market. eCommerce retail sales were nearly CAD$1.85 billion, with approximately 28.1 million Canadian population making online purchases. eCommerce retail market revenue is projected to surpass $33 billion by 2024, up from $25.4 billion in 2019.
Top eCommerce Trends in Canada
The year 2022 poses major challenges for eCommerce brands. No one knows what the approaching post-pandemic world will look like. Additionally, 2022 will usher in key changes in engaging online and monitoring customer data. Here are some eCommerce trends in Canada to watch while the year is young.
- End of Third-Party Cookies
In 2023, Google announced it would stop using third-party cookies, leaving eCommerce brands just a year to respond to this massive alteration.
The end of cookies means you can longer collect contextual data about prospects or serve ads such as audience expansion ads, personalized ads, or retargeting ads. Without proper preparation, this can severely limit your advertising campaign reach and lead generation effectiveness.
In 2022, marketers will start to adapt, ramping up their SEO, content marketing efforts, and social media marketing efforts to compensate for the incidental loss of revenue and traffic from advertisements.
eCommerce Trends in Canada – Everything That You Should Know! Click To Tweet
- Focus on Building Community
Building communities within or around brands will be a key trend in 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 and the loss of cookies on online interaction as well as offline.
There has been a shift from transactional to relationship-oriented interaction. This is mainly due to isolation and lockdown, but also need to consider their protection when interacting with brands. Brands that have embraced services like virtual showrooms or grocery delivery have been rewarded with loyalty.
This trend is unlikely to go away with the Coronavirus pandemic, and marketers must respond by building communities that nurture and strengthen relationships.
One obvious example is Apple’s sense of community. Brands can build targeted communities on web portals or social media like Sephora did with its Beauty Insider Community.
- Diversifying Video Content
If you didn’t notice, much of the internet is moving towards video content. 66% of consumers use video content as their top source of information. This is why social networking brands such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, are steadily gaining popularity.
Relevant eCommerce brands will be updating their sites with more different video content, like:
- Landing page videos
- Background videos
- Product page videos
- Product demonstration videos
- Review/Testimonial videos
- Most traditional text-based web pages will start to add a video. However, it’s also important to frequently add original content to your social pages.
eCommerce brands without a big budget can take good advantage of free video downloads from stock video sites or use automatic animation tools to create fast videos without spending a lot of money.
- The Metaverse’s Big Bang
The term “metaverse” became popular when Facebook rebranded to meta in late 2021. These virtual world extensions include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and smart technologies in our daily life.
What does this mean for eCommerce brands? Imagine being able to “try on” an outfit in your Shopify store using your phone’s camera. Or what if you could test your golf clubs on a virtual lawn before customers hit the purchase button? How likely are you to stay in a hotel if you could virtually tour the room right before booking?
These experiences will appear in 2022 (some are already here). Brands that adopt these changes have an advantage over others.
The metaverse will be providing a robust and more interactive opportunity for the brand community. Interactions are no longer limited to likes and shares. Consumers can interact face-to-face with brand avatars, influencers and each other in a virtual forum.
- Personalization of the Shopping Experience at Its Very Best
Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically since the beginning of 2022, at the pandemic’s peak. So who would have thought that necessities like groceries would be the first to be fully digitized?
Automation will continue to exist and grow over time to make the shopping experience much easier and ultimately transformative. In addition, thanks to ubiquitous communication, consumers expect to meet at a convenient time and where they are.
Artificial intelligence and reliable customer service will take the lead on all platforms. This means a smart payment decision that is specifically “Purchase Now, Pay Later” models or also Cryptocurrency payments.
- Social Commerce/Influencer Marketing
Social commerce is all about selling items directly via social media channels. Paid advertising, influencer marketing, and short videos help steer purchasing decisions on social networking platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Youtube, and Instagram shorts or reels.
Shopify and several other eCommerce platforms have laid out the money to assist their users in taking advantage of social commerce. Located on the Shopify dashboard, TikTok Ads Manager makes it easy to create, personalize, and post product advertisements.
Social Commerce Benefits:
- Social proof from influencers can help drive sales
- Brands can earn followers and maximize their reach
- Social commerce enhances B2C communication as well as engagement
- Live Streaming Commerce
Have you ever caught yourself flipping through television channels in a hotel and stumbled across The Shopping Channel? You might have wondered who on this planet will purchase a pair of keyrings from a stranger on TV. Well, kind of the same thing is taking the eCommerce stage by storm!
Live streaming commerce is the latest trend where brands (or influencers they hire) live stream and showcase commercial products. And they don’t just hook up these products and provide a link in the description. Instead, some video streaming platforms allow you to buy these items directly from a real-time streaming service.
Live stream commerce is presently viral in China and is beginning to gain popularity in Canada. eCommerce Brands can live stream shows on social media channels, TV, their site, or in their mobile application.
- Continued Rise of mCommerce
mCommerce or mobile commerce is a great way to define eCommerce focused on mobile users, making it easy for them to purchase items through smart handheld devices.
Numerous eCommerce businesses are developing mobile-first strategies since mobile traffic continues to grow. For example, a mobile P2P (peer-to-peer) payment system can make business easier than ever with your smartphone and connect with users more easily through SMS marketing to induce repeat purchases.
- Visual Search
Tech-enthusiast internet users have already been using Google reverse-image searches for years. Still, the technology will carry out the steps to provide a fully new shopping experience in the eCommerce sector of Canada.
Thanks to Google’s MUM (Multitask Unified Model) algorithm, a buyer can easily upload a picture of something they plan to buy. Then, the search engine will display a set of similar products for sale. In addition, MUM will be infused with Google Lens, making visual product searches effortless.
Suppose you are running and managing an eCommerce business that works great with visual search. In that case, you will want to optimize your product and image descriptions to meet MUM standards. This will help you get a better rise in your search and include a straight purchase.
Sought-after eCommerce platforms are already starting to provide visual search potentialities that can be embedded into websites and mobile applications. For instance, Shopify has applications like Visual Search, and Magento provides Product Search through Image Extension.
The Key Takeaway
Retail sales are one of the earliest models globally, but let us say, eCommerce is constantly developing. Understanding the new trends in the eCommerce market of Canada will help you move streets ahead of your competitors, incorporating those that best suit your business and brand. Keep tabs on your competitors, monitor the latest techniques to reach users, and prioritize modifications that’ll have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
For more information on eCommerce businesses and industry trends in Canada, subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.