The Every day — Digital expertise and Web use, 2021

Launched: 2022-09-13

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the utility of digital expertise use amongst Canadian companies. Because the onset of the pandemic, work and enterprise transactions have more and more been performed just about fairly than in-person. This has continued via 2021 for a lot of companies, because the pandemic has emphasised the necessity to use digital applied sciences to adapt to new realities.

The Survey of Digital Expertise and Web Use (SDTIU) 2021 measures these new realities, together with elevated net presences of Canadian companies (e.g., web sites), elevated e-commerce gross sales, elevated teleworking and elevated adoption of knowledge and communication applied sciences (e.g., cloud computing, Buyer Relationship Administration software program).

As well as, shifts throughout the pandemic in the direction of growing use of digital applied sciences might signify everlasting adjustments for some companies. Based on the Canadian Survey on Enterprise Circumstances (CSBC) performed within the second quarter of 2021, nearly one in 5 (19%) companies reported they have been doubtless going to completely enhance their on-line gross sales capability as soon as the pandemic ends.

Canadian companies gross $398 billion in e-commerce gross sales in 2021

In 2021, Canadian companies with 5 or extra staff grossed $398 billion in e-commerce gross sales, roughly 30% larger than in 2019 ($305 billion), the yr previous the beginning of the pandemic. This additionally marked a virtually four-fold enhance in e-commerce gross sales over the previous decade, when gross sales reached $106 billion in 2012.

Industries with a higher quantity of business-to-business transactions dominated e-commerce gross sales. The manufacturing sector accounted for practically one-quarter of all e-commerce gross sales ($105 billion), adopted by wholesale commerce ($77 billion) and transportation and warehousing ($51 billion). As well as, the retail commerce sector grossed $35 billion in e-commerce gross sales over the identical interval, a rise of practically 60% since 2019 ($22 billion).

One-third of Canadian companies have e-commerce gross sales in 2021

One-third (33%) of Canadian companies had a minimum of some e-commerce gross sales in 2021, marking a rise from 2019, when one-quarter (25%) obtained or made gross sales of products or companies over the Web.

Giant companies (38%) have been the more than likely to report e-commerce gross sales, whereas medium (36%) and small (32%) companies didn’t lag far behind. This compares favourably to different small companies internationally; the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Improvement (OECD) reported that 25% of small companies from reporting member nations had on-line gross sales in 2020.

Canadian companies with e-commerce gross sales grossed, on common, $3.7 million in gross sales over the Web in 2021, nevertheless this diverse significantly by measurement of enterprise. Giant companies reported, on common, $79 million in gross e-commerce gross sales, whereas medium-sized companies reported $4.2 million and small companies reported $580,000.

Nonetheless, Canadian companies of all sizes noticed a rise in e-commerce in 2021, each when it comes to the share of companies that had e-commerce gross sales, in addition to the typical e-commerce gross sales grossed. Most notably, this progress was biggest for small companies, the place 41% extra small companies offered on-line in 2021, and had a mean enhance of roughly 65% in e-commerce gross sales in contrast with 2019.

Use of varied data and communication applied sciences grows in 2021

Chart 1 

Info and communication applied sciences utilized by companies, Canada, 2021

Chart 1: Information and communication technologies used by businesses, Canada, 2021

Past the expansion in e-commerce, the pandemic has emphasised the necessity to use digital applied sciences. As such, in 2021, extra Canadian companies used data and communication applied sciences (ICT) (85%) in contrast with 2019 (80%). A few of the most used applied sciences have been company-wide laptop networks (53%), trade particular software program (46%) and Web-connected sensible gadgets (22%). Conversely, some extra superior forms of ICT have been much less frequent, corresponding to software program and {hardware} utilizing synthetic intelligence (4%), 3D printing (2%), superior robotics (1%) or blockchain applied sciences (lower than 1%).

One of the vital used ICTs in 2021 was cloud computing, with 45% of Canadian companies utilizing the expertise, marking a rise of six share factors from 2019. As well as, companies utilizing cloud computing applied sciences reported spending, on common, $43,000 in 2021, a rise of roughly $15,000 from 2019. On common, massive companies spent $558,000, medium-sized companies spent $44,000 and small companies spent $8,800 on cloud computing in 2021. Companies within the data and cultural industries sector (77%) have been the more than likely to make use of cloud computing applied sciences, adopted by these within the utilities sector (72%) and the skilled, scientific, and technical companies sector (70%).

Though adoption of software program and {hardware} utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI) was unusual inside the total enterprise inhabitants, the speed of adoption in 2021 was the best amongst massive companies (20%), and companies within the utilities sector (17%) and within the data and cultural industries sector (13%). Amongst companies that used AI applied sciences, machine studying (37%) and applied sciences that automate workflows or help in choice making (37%) have been used most often.

One-third of Canadian companies provide their staff the choice to telework in 2021

The impression of the COVID-19 pandemic is obvious within the enhance within the variety of workplaces providing distant working. One-third (33%) of Canadian companies supplied some or all their staff the choice to telework in 2021, a rise of 14 share factors in contrast with 2019 (19%). Almost three-quarters (74%) of enormous companies allowed teleworking in 2021, in contrast with 53% of medium-sized and 27% of small companies.

Whereas companies are permitting staff to telework, there may be an anticipation that some staff might be requested to return to the workplace as pandemic restrictions are lifted. Based on the CSBC within the third quarter of 2021, the share of the workforce anticipated to proceed to primarily telework as soon as the pandemic is over was 28%.

One-tenth of Canadian companies make use of data and communications expertise specialists; roughly the identical proportion as in 2019

One-tenth (10%) of Canadian companies employed a number of ICT specialists in 2021, just like the proportion in 2019 (9%). Amongst these companies, ICT specialists represented, on common, 7% of their workforce.

The data and cultural industries sector (37%) and utilities sector (30%) have been more than likely to have companies with ICT specialists in 2021. Simply over half of enormous companies (51%) and simply over one-fifth of medium-sized companies (21%) had ICT specialists, in contrast with 7% of small companies; all stay roughly unchanged from 2019.

In 2021, a small proportion of Canadian companies (4%) had job vacancies for an ICT specialist. Among the many companies that tried to rent an ICT specialist, a number of challenges have been confronted in doing so, together with candidates missing abilities (67%), wage requests have been too excessive (51%) and an absence of candidate curiosity within the place (37%).

Two-fifths (40%) of companies with ICT specialists offered coaching to develop or improve the ICT-related abilities of these workers. Almost two-thirds (64%) of enormous companies offered such coaching, in contrast with simply over four-tenths (41%) of medium-sized companies and round one-third (32%) of small companies.

Net presence rises barely in 2021 for Canadian companies; companies spend roughly $6.5 billion for on-line commercials

A big majority of Canadian companies (89%) had a minimum of one sort of net presence in 2021, marking a slight enhance from 2019 (85%). These net presences embrace firm web sites (78%), social media accounts (61%) or e mail advertising and marketing (19%). Amongst companies with an organization web site, round three in 5 (59%) had a web site optimized to be used on a cell gadget.

Being measured for the primary time by SDTIU, Canadian companies spent roughly $6.5 billion for on-line commercials in 2021. Whereas no comparisons to 2019 might be accomplished immediately on complete spending on promoting, barely extra Canadian companies indicated they used paid internet marketing in 2021 (24%) in contrast with 2019 (23%).

On common, companies within the utilities sector ($784,000), the data and cultural industries sector ($408,000) and the manufacturing sector ($297,000) had the very best spending for on-line commercials. Essentially the most extensively used forms of paid on-line commercials have been social media adverts (82%), search engine marketing (46%) and ppc (44%).

Digital financial system and society statistics portal

Go to the Digital financial system and society statistics portal to seek out information, publications, and interactive instruments associated to the digital financial system and society in a single handy location.

  Observe to readers

Knowledge for this survey have been collected from November 2021 to March 2022.

The questions on this survey requested respondents to report for reference yr 2021 solely.

The goal inhabitants of the 2021 iteration of this survey included enterprises with Canadian operations, from most financial sectors, with 5 or extra full or part-time staff based mostly on Statistics Canada’s Enterprise Register. The ultimate pattern measurement was roughly 14,000 enterprises and the response fee was 73%.

The enterprise measurement classes offered on this article are based mostly on the variety of full-time staff that enterprises reported having on this survey. Small companies have 19 or fewer full-time staff. Medium-sized companies have 20 to 99 full-time staff, aside from medium-sized manufacturing companies which have 20 to 499 full-time staff. Giant companies have 100 or extra full-time staff, besides for giant manufacturing companies which have 500 or extra full-time staff.

Percentages revealed on this article signify a share of companies.


Digital commerce (e-commerce) gross sales confer with all gross sales of a enterprise’s items or companies the place orders have been obtained, and the dedication to buy was made, over the Web. Cost might be made by different means. This contains enterprise to client transactions in addition to enterprise to enterprise transactions.

Info and communication applied sciences (ICT) specialists are staff for whom ICT-related actions are central to their job.

E-commerce gross sales confer with gross sales the place orders have been obtained, and the dedication to buy was made, over the Web. This contains enterprise to client transactions in addition to enterprise to enterprise transactions.

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