This guest blog post is provided by Statistics Canada who is responsible for producing statistics that help Canadians better understand their country — its population, resources, economy, society and culture.

Keeping on top of the changing behaviours and demands of Canadian consumers should be part of every small business strategy. Changes are particularly tough to keep up with when it comes to e-commerce. This area has grown significantly in the past few years, with more and more Canadians forgoing line-ups and buying online.

Did you know 56% of Internet users in Canada ordered goods or services online in 2012? Those who did so averaged about 13 orders over the year, with an average total value of $1,452 per person.

According to data from the 2012 Canadian Internet Use Survey, published October 28, 2013, Canadians are continuing to gravitate to e commerce. The 2012 results show a continuation of the trend seen in the 2010 cycle of the same survey.

  • The value of orders Canadians placed online reached $18.9 billion in 2012.
  • 83% percent of Canadians reported using the Internet in 2012; of those, 56% ordered goods or services online.
  • Internet use varies widely by age, income and location. For Canadians aged 16 to 24, it is nearly ubiquitous; of those 65 and older, 48% used the Internet in 2012.
  • 58% of Internet users accessed the Internet from a hand-held wireless device (such as a smartphone or tablet).

To learn more about Canadians' online shopping habits, see Individual Internet Use and E-Commerce in The Daily, or Canadian Internet use and e-commerce (PDF), (link no longer valid)  based on the survey results.

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