More than half of Canadian small businesses still don't have a website

The lost potential is massive

(Photo: Nikki Ormerod)

(Photo: Nikki Ormerod)

More than half of small businesses in Canada don’t have a website, and it’s causing them to lose out on sales in a big way.

In its recently released 2014 Factbook, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (which manages the .ca domain,) reveals that just 41.1% of small businesses in Canada have a website. By contrast, 91.8% of large enterprises maintain a corporate site.

According to the CIRA, this represents a huge missed opportunity—especially since the report uncovered that 74% of Canadians search for and research products online before making purchases. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that two out of every three dollars Canadian shoppers spend online goes to U.S. sites.

Other findings in this year’s Factbook include:

  • The average Canadian visited 3,731 web pages per month last year, the highest in the world. Canadians also ranked a close second behind the U.S. for the average number of hours spent online per user.
  • Canadians are heavy consumers of online video, ranking second in the world behind the U.K., at 24.8 hours per month.
  • 69% of Canadians (that’s almost 24 million people) visited at least one social networking site last year.
  • Nearly one in four (37%) of Canadian smartphone users use their mobile devices to watch video and/or television—a 21% increase from 2012.
  • Only 62% of low-income Canadians have Internet access, compared with 95% of those in the highest income quartile.
  • Half of Canadians surveyed said they prefer .ca domain on a website over .com for business use and for online activities that require the disclosure of personal information such as shopping or banking.

The 2014 Factbook compiled findings from CIRA’s own primary research, carried out with the assistance of the Strategic Counsel and ZookNIC Internet Intelligence, with publicly available data from Statistics Canada, Ipsos Reid, ComScore, Websense, TNS Digital Life and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This story originally appeared on