Internet Shopping growing rapidly in Canada

September 28, 2010

Statistics Canada has just reported that 39% of Canadians aged 16 and over used the Internet to place more than 95 million orders last year, up by a third from 2007 levels when 70 million orders were placed.

In total, 51 per cent of Canadians within the age group from 16 to 34 years old bought something online last year. The most popular items were concert and plane tickets, followed by clothes, books and magazines. Younger people are more likely to buy clothes, jewelery and accessories while men are twice as likely to buy consumer electronics online than women.

Total e-commerce rose 18 per cent last year from 2007 as Canadians placed orders for goods and services valued at $15.1-billion. Relatively more residents of British Columbia (47%) and Alberta (45%) made an online order in 2009.

However, although consumers are placing more orders, the average value per order has declined from $183 in 2007 to $158 in 2009.

Security doesn’t seem to be a big issue for most Canadians. 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, 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.

The 2009 Canadian Internet Use Survey, sponsored by Industry Canada, was conducted in November 2009 as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey. More than 23,000 people aged 16 and over were asked about their Internet use over a 12-month period. Canadians aged 16 and 17, who accounted for 1% of the value of orders in 2007 and 2009, were excluded in 2005.

For more information, or to enquire about the methods, concepts or data quality of this release, contact Larry McKeown (613-951-2582; or Ben Veenhof (613-951-5067;, Business Special Surveys and Technology Statistics Division.

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