Online holiday shopping soars in B.C.
Holiday shoppers in B.C. aren't planning on spending more money than last year despite the economy being slightly stronger, but they are changing how they're doing their holiday shopping.
According to a report by Ipsos Reid, 70 per cent of people in 2010 are shopping online, up from 65 per cent last year.
Statistics Canada reported in 2009 that more Canadians, particularly in B.C. and Alberta, were shopping online. Internet shoppers spent $15.1 billion in 2009, up from $12.8 billion in 2007.
Dr. Dianne Cyr, business professor at Simon Fraser University, has been studying online shopping trends for eight years and says that convenience and increased selection online are the main draws for internet buyers.
"There's more selection online and the item is delivered right to your door," she said.
Shopping online can also be a major time-saver
"Time is of the essence for people these days. There are more and more demands on people's time and online shopping is a way to be more efficient with time use," she said.
Cyr said that ordering gifts from the comfort of the home or office saves time and therefore helps to alleviate the stress and pressure of the holiday season.
"There's also less concern about online security," she added. "I would attribute that in part to the credit card companies carefully monitoring purchases and different symbols and safeguards that have been implemented for purchasing online."
People are also doing more shopping using their mobile devices.
"Online vendors should make sure their websites are easy and appealing to use and also compatible with small screens," she said.
According to her research, Cyr said the most popular gifts purchased online are travel and entertainment tickets, books, clothing, jewelry and accessories.