For many Canadians, online shopping is increasingly a part of their pre-Christmas routine. According to the MasterCard SpendingPulse report Canadians spent $2.8 billion online in December of 2012.
That’s an increase of 26 per cent over December of 2011, showing online purchasing (and not just online comparison shopping and research before an in-store purchase) is increasingly a part of our annual gift giving routines. Some 6.6 per cent of all December retail sales were conducted online last month.
MasterCard pointed to several other measures that point to the increasing popularity of online shopping. December marked 25 consecutive months of growth over 20 per cent, and 43 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.
“More and more Canadians are moving from researching online and then buying in stores. Instead, they are taking advantage of the convenience, safety and security of online shopping. You can browse, price compare, find the best deals and check out with your credit card, all in the comfort of your home. During the busy holiday season, that’s an attractive proposition for shoppers,” said Richard McLaughlin, senior vice-president, global products and solutions for MasterCard Canada. “You can’t shop online with cash and that’s one of the benefits of electronic payments. It makes things easy for consumers and opens new doors for merchants.”
Overall, total Canadian retail sales were up by 1.6 per cent in December, showing online sales are growing significantly more strongly than the traditional retail channel.
“Ecommerce is the new frontier for many Canadian companies looking to grow their base and put their products in the hands of consumers,” said Michael McNamara, vice-president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, in a statement. “While online shopping shares typically peak during the holiday season, the size of the share in Canada this year is definitely a pleasant surprise for online merchants.”