September 28, 2010
Canadians spent $15.1 billion online in 2009 alone
More online shoppers and higher order volume
Canadians used the internet in 2009 to place orders for goods and services valued at $15.1 billion, up from $12.8 billion in 2007. The increase resulted from more online shoppers and a higher volume of orders.
In 2009, about 39% of Canadians aged 16 and over used the internet to place more than 95 million orders. This was up from 32% and the 70 million orders placed in 2007, when the survey was last conducted.
Relatively more residents of British Columbia (47%) and Alberta (45%) made an online order in 2009.
About one-half (51%) of Canadians aged 16 to 34 purchased a product online in 2009. Men (42%) were more likely than women (37%) to have made an online purchase.
Average value per order declined from $183 in 2007 to $158 in 2009.
The top online shoppers (that is, the top 25%) spent an average of $4,210 during 2009. These top online shoppers accounted for almost one-half (49%) of total orders and over three-quarters (79%) of their value.
Travel and event tickets remain popular
The most common types of online orders continued to be travel services; entertainment products such as concert tickets; books and magazines; and clothing, jewellery and accessories.
The types of products ordered varied by the individual characteristics of online shoppers.
More than one-half (54%) of online shoppers over the age of 44 reported placing an order for travel services, while about 43% of online shoppers under the age of 25 reported ordering clothing, jewellery and accessories.
Men (28%) were twice as likely as women (13%) to order consumer electronics online.
Internet complements retail
In 2009, 52% of Canadians went online to "window shop," that is, to research or browse products, up from 43% in 2007.
Such browsing is more pronounced among Canadians under the age of 35, as 67% of this age group went online to window shop.
Among all window shoppers in 2009, 69% reported subsequently making a purchase directly from a store, up from 64% in 2007.
The internet complements traditional retail for certain categories such as consumer electronics (cameras and DVD players), appliances and furniture, as well as clothing, jewellery and accessories.
Security concerns decline as Internet use increases
The vast majority (84%) of online shoppers paid directly over the Internet for some or all of their purchases.
There are still concerns about online credit card use. In 2009, one-half (48%) of all Canadians, whether or not they went online, reported being very concerned about online credit card use.
The level of concern was higher (61%) for those who never used the internet. This proportion dropped to 57% among those who reported using the internet for less than five years, and was lower (42%) for those who had been online for five or more years.
In 2009, 80% of users reported five or more years of internet use, up from 73% in 2007. More than one-half (55%) of users with five or more years of online experience made an online order in 2009 compared with 23% of those online for less than five years.