Statistics Canada
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Who's shopping on the Internet?

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Over 9 million Canadians aged 18 and older window-shopped on the Internet in 2005. Nearly 7 million of us—about 41% of all adults who used the Internet that year—bought something online.

Whether browsing an online bookshop, comparing new car specifications and pricing at various dealers, or ordering new furniture, it is all called Internet shopping. Canadians might choose to shop online for the 24-hour convenience, the ease of comparing vendors’ prices or access to merchants regardless of distance.

Canadian adults used the Internet to order $7.9 billion worth of goods and services for personal and household consumption in 2005. They placed almost 50 million orders online. However, e-commerce—the value of orders placed on the Internet—is still a small fraction of the $761 billion in personal expenditures on goods and services that Canadians made in 2005.

The most popular online purchases Canadians made were travel services, such as hotel reservations and car rentals, followed closely by books and magazines. Entertainment items, such as concert tickets, as well as clothing, jewellery and accessories are also commonly bought online. The most popular items for window shopping are consumer electronics, housewares such as appliances and furniture, clothing, accessories and jewellery, and travel services.

About three-quarters of adults who placed an Internet order in 2005 paid directly online with a credit or debit card. However, security concerns may hinder e-commerce growth: 48% of Internet window shoppers who made purchases after searching online said they were very concerned about credit card security on the Internet.