Online retail sales to hit $34-billion in Canada by 2018

Online spending will account for 8% of overall retail in this country in five years, but Canadians are still deterred by longstanding hurdles such as expensive shipping costs and a paucity of shopping choices, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

The agency predicts online retail spending in Canada will climb to $33.8-billion in 2018 from a level of $20.6-billion this year.

The news comes as many more bricks and mortar retailers, including those based in the U.S., set up a dedicated Canadian website or extend shipping to this country.

High-profile U.S. department store chains such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and J.C. Penney have started shipping to Canada this year, with easy-to-understand shipping policies and prices in Canadian dollars.

Traditional bricks and mortar retailers have also been bulking up their online channels, eyeing rival Amazon Canada’s entry into a slew of categories such as toys, electronics, health and cosmetics, entertainment and tools.

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