While Canada logs more hours online than almost any other country in the world, just under half of Canadian businesses have a website – and that could make them lag behind their competition, according to new survey findings from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

Pulling research conducted in 2013 into its third annual Factbook, CIRA found on average, Canadians spend roughly 41.3 hours per month online, outranking almost every country in Internet use except for the U.S. However, just 45.5 per cent of Canadian businesses have a website, and among small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), that figure slips to 41.1 per cent.

While the situation is similar in the U.S., with Google Inc. reporting just 58 per cent of U.S. businesses as having their own websites, the authors of the CIRA report wrote about half of Canadian consumers have used the Internet to order a good or service. And although Canadians don’t spend as much as Internet users in other G20 countries, most of the money they do spend goes towards U.S. retail websites.

Top items Canadians buy online. (Image: CIRA).
Top items Canadians buy online. (Image: CIRA).

Also worth noting was that among Canadians, online video consumption takes a big chunk out of time spent on the Internet. On average, Canadian consumers spend 24.8 hours per month watching videos online, catching about 291 videos per month.

Plus, social media continues to be a big draw for Canadians online, with 69 per cent visiting at least one social networking site in 2013. The biggest social networking site was Facebook, with more than 19 million Canadians signing in there at least once a month. However, social networking sites based on visuals are also growing at a rapid clip, with Pinterest experiencing 792 per cent growth, and Tumblr growing by 96 per cent.

CIRA manages a database of more than two million .ca domain names, and it also provides commentary on the Internet community in Canada. To read its full report, head on over here.

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