The trends for shopping in Canada and the US in the last 2 years have displayed consistent growth in the online market. Consumers are spending more online than ever before, and the trend seems to be increasing. Online sales on Black Friday of 2012 surpassed $1 billion, compared to sales of $816 million in 2011, a 26% increase.
During the holiday season, online sales now represent 10% of the total retail sales in the US, and 6.6% of the total retail sales in Canada. In both countries, online sales have increased about 20% in the last year. Statistics show that Canada is roughly 2 years behind the US market in terms of online trends, meaning that we can expect substantial growth for online sales in the coming years.
There are a number of reasons why consumers are spending more online than ever before. A main factor is the increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Consumers now have shopping access at their fingertips, making online purchases very convenient. Additionally, people now have the ability to shop around and compare different prices very quickly and efficiently, giving consumers more reason to make their purchases over the internet. Consumers are now spending their leisure time shopping online from the convenience of home without having to visit a physical location.
These trends in the online market correlate directly to the success of retail businesses for the future. A strong e-commerce presence is necessary to capture this increasing market and to compete with other online retailers. Innovative e-commerce technology is being made available for merchants as this online trend continues, giving merchants tools to prosper in the internet marketplace. The trend for online spending is expected to continue in the coming years, with the 20% increase we have seen in the last year being a forecast for things to come.