Canadian's Internet Business

2012 Canadian Holiday Sales Down, Online Shopping Up (Statistics) ©

Statistics Canada has released a discouraging report of December, 2012 retail sales in Canada, which declined 0.9% (excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers). Sales fell 1.6% in volume, with most merchants reporting less sales in December. All provinces reported a decrease in retail sales. RBC reported this month that 69% of Canadian shoppers stayed within their budget through the 2012 holiday season.

MasterCard Canada statistics offer good news for online merchants, however. According to their SpendingPulse Report, December online sales rose 26% in 2012 compared to 2011, totaling 6.6% of all December retail sales (exceeding US growth statistics).

“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.

December 2012 Canadian Retail Statistics from Statistics Canada

December 2012 Canadian Online Shopping Statistics from MasterCard

“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, VP of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “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.”

Very pleasant indeed! Ecommerce is the future of retail sales, be it entirely web-based businesses or ‘brick and mortar’ businesses offering online shopping options. For most, eCommerce is a simple matter of getting a domain name (we use reputable & well-established Dotster) and choosing website hosting with e-commerce / catalogue support (such as Yahoo, HostGator, iPage, or Shopify Ecommerce.

Decreased retail sales effect us all, but it’s clear those who are doing business online will weather the economic storm in far better shape.

Did you see an increase in online sales over the 2012 holiday season?  Please tell us about it in the comments below.

Statistics Canada
Mastercard SpendingPulse


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