Amazon, a global e-commerce giant, has revolutionized the way we shop online. In recent years, the company has seen rapid growth across the globe, including in Canada, expanding its product offerings and services. From an online bookshop, Amazon has grown into an online store that not only sells items in 36 main categories and over 25,000 subcategories but also offers many other services including TV and music.

In this article, we explore key Amazon statistics in Canada, which include Amazon’s market share, customer demographics, and popular categories. We also look at statistics on Canadian sellers on Amazon. Finally, you will find key Amazon international statistics for a comprehensive picture of the company.

Amazon Statistics for Canadians

  • Amazon was launched in 1994 as an online bookstore.
  • Amazon Canada launched in 2002.
  • In Canada, Amazon’s market share in retail e-commerce is over 40%.
  • Shopper demographics show that 25-34-year-old Canadians are the most likely to shop on Amazon Canada.
  • Amazon Canada had net sales of 13.216 million CAD in 2021.
  • In February 2023, Amazon Canada received close to 160 million visits and was the 12th most popular website in Canada.
  • There are around 80,000 Canadians who sell on Amazon.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 Amazon sellers in Canada are men.
  • Over 50% of Canadians selling on Amazon make over $50,000 per year.
  • There are over 350 million products for sale across Amazon’s global sites.

Brief History of Amazon

Amazon dates back to 1994 when Jeff Bezos started the company, having left his job as a senior vice president at a New York Investment company. Initially, the online store sold books and operated out of Bezos’s garage in Seattle, Washington. However, the company grew quickly and within the first two months had already sold books not only in all US states but also in 45 countries around the world.

Amazon went public in 1997 and continued to expand the products it offered, adding movies and music to its catalogue. The following year, the company introduced the Amazon.com Associates Program, which allows website owners to earn money by promoting Amazon products on their websites.

Over the years, Amazon has continued to expand its offerings, adding, for example, electronics, clothing, and household items to its platform. In 2002, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has since grown into a major player in the cloud computing industry. Amazon Prime, a subscription service offering customers several benefits, including free shipping and access to movies and music, was introduced in 2005.

Today, Amazon ships to over 100 countries across the world and has expanded its services to other areas, such as groceries, healthcare, and entertainment.

Amazon in Canada

The Canadian site of Amazon’s online store launched in 2002 and the company’s Canadian headquarters is in Vancouver, British Columbia. Amazon has a growing workforce in Canada and in 2021 employed approximately 25,000 full-time employees and 20,000 part-time employees in the country at its headquarters, fulfillment centres, and as delivery personnel.

Amazon’s cloud computing platform, AWS, also has a significant presence in Canada, with data centres in Toronto and Montreal. Customers of Amazon Canada, benefit from Amazon Prime and a wide range of products available on the Canadian site. Amazon Canada is also actively involved in community initiatives, which include support for local small businesses and donations to food banks.

Amazon’s Market Share in Canada

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in Canada and has a significant share of the Canadian e-commerce market. According to data from Insider Intelligence, in 2023, Amazon will have 41.5% of the total retail e-commerce sales in Canada. That means that over $4 of every $10 Canadians spend on online retail stores, will go to Amazon.

How does this compare with other countries? Compared to other countries where Amazon is well-established, only in Germany is the market share bigger than in Canada with 51.1%. In the United States, its market share of e-commerce is 37.6% and in the United Kingdom 25.2%.

Amazon Customer Demographics in Canada

Amazon has a diverse customer base in Canada, with shoppers of all ages, genders, incomes, and educational levels using its services. However, Canadians most likely to shop on Amazon belong to the 25 to 34 age group, followed by Canadians aged 35 to 44. The customer base is almost evenly split between men and women. 60% of Amazon Canada shoppers earned over 50,000 CAD in 2019.

There is no recent geographical data available for Canada, but some of the more populous provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, are likely to have higher Amazon usage rates, as they have larger populations and more urban centres.

Popular Amazon Categories in Canada

While the most popular categories and items on Amazon Canada are likely to change based on different seasons and trends, in 2019 electronics and media products accounted for approximately 53% of Amazon’s net sales in Canada.

During the same year, other popular product categories on Amazon Canada included clothes and accessories at 13%. Home and kitchen products were also popular, representing 9% of all sales.

Amazon’s Revenue in Canada

Amazon Canada had net sales of 13.216 million CAD in 2021, It was followed by Walmart Canada with 5.079 million CAD and Costco Canada with 3.046 million CAD. In fourth place was Apple with 2.248 million CAD. It is estimated that Amazon’s sales grew by 34.3% year on year between 2019 and 2020. However, this rapid growth may have been due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person shopping.

Amazon is the 12th Most Popular Website in Canada

Based on the number of monthly visits, Amazon Canada is the 12th most popular website in Canada according to Semrush. It received 159.8 million visits in February 2023 and on average visitors viewed 4.9 pages and spent just over 12 minutes per visit on the website.

Canadians are more likely to shop on Amazon using their mobiles with 67.8% of all visits coming from mobile devices. 53.77% of all visits are direct to the website, while 25.18% come through Google.

Canadian Sellers on Amazon

In 2021, there were over 80,000 Canadian sellers active on Amazon. According to a survey by Ecom Cre, out of these sellers, 39.4% were making up to $50,000 per year on Amazon, while 54.5% were making over $50,000 per year. 6.1% of the Canadian sellers had not sold anything at the time the survey was conducted.

Canadian Amazon Sellers Demographics

The majority of Canadians who sell on Amazon are male at 68.2% while females represent 31.8% of all the sellers. Almost half of all the sellers are between 18 and 34 years old at 48.5%. Almost as many sellers, at 45.5% are aged between 39 and 64, while the over 65s make up only 6.1% of Canadian Amazon sellers. All of the 65+ sellers are male since all female sellers are between 18 and 64 years of age.

Challenges of Selling on Amazon

The biggest single challenge cited by Canadian Amazon sellers was the policies and restrictions by Amazon. 50% of the sellers named this as the number one challenge. Getting customer reviews was the main challenge for 18.18%, while 7.58% cited manufacturing as their biggest challenge. 6.06% said competition by Chinese sellers was a major challenge and 3.03% worried about hijackers. 15.15% had other concerns about selling on Amazon.

Canadian Selling Practices on Amazon

Canadian Amazon sellers are most likely to only list their products on Amazon Canada with 43.9% of sellers surveyed saying this was their sole marketplace. 24.24% had their products listed on both Amazon Canada and Amazon.com, while 19.7% were only selling on Amazon.com.

7.58% of Canadian sellers listed on other Amazon platforms, for example, Amazon.co.uk, in addition to the Canadian site, and 4.55% used other selling platforms as well as Amazon Canada.

Sellers who make a full-time income from selling on Amazon, are most likely to have more than one product in their catalogue. At 57.6%, most Canadian sellers list between 1 and 20 products on Amazon. 16.7% sell between 21 to 49 products and 25.8% over 50 products.

Most Canadian Sellers Use Amazon’s Fulfillment Centres

A vast majority, 95.45%, of Canadian sellers on Amazon said they use FBA services offered by Amazon. Using this service means that sellers do not have to worry about storing, packing, or shipping orders to customers. For a fee, Amazon will handle it for the seller, making it easier for people to become sellers.

Time Canadian Sellers Spend on Selling on Amazon

Most Canadian sellers, at 48.48%, spend less than 20 hours per week managing their online store on Amazon. 31.82% of sellers in Canada spend between 20 and 40 hours and 19.7% over 40 hours per week on selling on Amazon. There is currently no data on how the hours spent on managing  Amazon sales and income from Amazon correlate.

Global Amazon Statistics

While Amazon is the leading online retailer in many countries including Canada and the US, globally, an online company called Alibaba has the most sales. Alibaba is a Chinese platform used by both businesses and individuals to sell products. According to Finances Online, Alibaba’s sales were 765 billion USD compared to Amazon’s 239 billion USD.

The most frequently bought products globally are electronics followed by items from the clothing, shoes, and jewellery category. The top five categories are completed by home and kitchen, beauty and personal care, and books.

Consumers have access to over 353 million products using Amazon. This includes the over 12 million products listed on Amazon’s catalogue as well as those available through Amazon Marketplace. Currently, Amazon operates in 13 countries and ships to over 100 countries around the world. The company employs over 1.2 million people.

Global Amazon User and Seller Statistics

In January 2021, Amazon had the 9th highest internet traffic engagement in the world. Amazon had 3.1 billion visits in the last six months of 2020. In 2021, 63.5% of all Amazon traffic came from the US. 89% of US consumers visit the Amazon website at least once every month, while 48% visit the online store a few or more times each week.

Globally, there are around 9.6 million sellers on Amazon. However, this figure includes inactive sellers. Only around 10% of active global sellers have been able to generate an income of over 100,000 USD per year selling on Amazon. The online retailer is continuously attracting new sellers with an average of 6,264 new sellers joining the marketplace every day.

Unlike Canadians, who are more likely to access Amazon on their mobile devices, global users are most likely to use their computers. 65% of global Amazon customers access the site on computers compared to 26% on smartphones, 9% on tablets, and 1% using voice assistants.

Conclusion

Since its launch in Canada, Amazon has become an increasingly popular choice for Canadian consumers. With net sales of 13.216 million CAD in 2021, approximately 45,000 employees, and around 80,000 Canadian sellers, Amazon has grown to be important to the Canadian economy.

Globally, as in Canada, the company continues to be a dominant force in e-commerce and technology, and with more people choosing to shop online for convenience and the range of products available, it is not likely its popularity will start to wane anytime soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

At the start of 2023, Amazon’s market share was 41.5% of the total retail e-commerce sales in Canada.

Yes, Canadians can sell on Amazon. At the moment, about 80,000 Canadians are selling on the retail platform.

How much you can make depends on how much you sell and what the products you are selling are worth. With the right product catalogue, it is possible to earn a living selling on Amazon. In 2021, 54.5% of Canadian Amazon sellers were making over $50,000 per year.

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