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Digital growth steady for Canadian companies in 2013: report

Canadian companies sold over $136-billion in goods and services over the Internet last year, up from $122-billion a year earlier.


The pace of digital change among Canadian corporations remained fairly steady in 2013, according to a Statistics Canada study. But while larger enterprises hold the lead over small and medium-sized businesses when it comes to integrating Internet and data technologies, larger companies were also more likely to report costly attacks on its tech infrastructure.

Canadian companies sold over $136-billion in goods and services over the Internet last year, up from $122-billion a year earlier.

About 13 per cent of companies sold goods or services over the Internet in 2013, up from 11 per cent a year earlier.

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Almost all of the growth in online sales in 2013 was accounted for by large enterprises. They were responsible for about $87-billion or 64 per cent of the value of total online sales, the study said.

The majority of the value of e-commerce activity – 61 per cent – was in wholesale trade, manufacturing and retail trade, according to the report, released Wednesday. Slightly less than half – 47 per cent – of Canadian companies bought goods or services online in 2013, according to the findings.

On the security front, only 6 per cent of enterprises reported an Internet security breach, but among large enterprises the number of reported intrusions jumped to 14 per cent.

As preventative measures go 76 per cent of enterprises used anti-virus or anti-spyware software, 62 per cent used a firewall and 53 per cent resorted to a spam filter to block unwanted e-mail.

The use of Internet-enabled mobile devices – smartphones and tablets for example – rose to 60 per cent last year, from 53 per cent a year earlier.

But only to one in five – 19 per cent – of companies with a website had it configured for mobile use.

The number of companies with a website was unchanged in 2013: 46 per cent, the same as in the previous year. At least 91 per cent of large companies – 100 or more employees – reported having a website.

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The report's figures are based on a sample of about 17,000 private Canadian enterprises. Companies of all sizes, from small – 0 to 19 full-time employees – to medium (20 to 99) and large (100 plus).

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More


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