There are many reasons people take to the Internet these days. After all, almost anything can be accomplished online. Consider the fact that many utilities businesses allow customers to pay bills, students can do research for homework or projects, many employees can accomplish work tasks and so on.
However, one of the biggest and most popular activities that can be pursued on the Internet is shopping. At this point, a number of individuals likely find this more convenient than going to a store. Consumers can go on their favourite brand's website, probably find a bigger selection than is available in one location, complete a transaction in just a few clicks and have the item delivered right to their front door without ever having to leave the couch.
Recent research published by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that the majority of Canadian consumers who go online regularly shop on the Internet with frequency.
Who's shopping online?
According to the "Total Retail: Customer Expectations Driving the Next Retail Business Model" study, 87 per cent of Canadians who use the Internet shop online at least once a year, while 49 per cent note that they do this at least monthly.
And because a 2013 study published by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority found that approximately 80 per cent of Canadians use the Internet regularly, which equates to about 27 million individuals, the true number of online shoppers is extremely large.
On top of that, more people seem amenable to taking this action in the future - 42 per cent of respondents to the PwC survey said that if their favourite nearby shop closed, they'd be willing to take to the Internet to find the products they want.
The report also noted that people are becoming more online shopping-friendly because of the convenience factor. The No. 1 reason for taking to e-commerce platforms was the fact that people can shop from their own houses at any time of the day. Then, 55 per cent noted that they believe they they'll find better deals and sales if they go on the Internet.
What does this mean for the future?
There are a number of sentiments revealed by these results. Two industries, in particular, can benefit significantly from a rising volume of Internet shopping. Obviously, the retail sector might be able to see the largest returns - however, this should put store owners across the nation on high alert that they need to have a website in order to properly compete down the road. Moreover, it should be optimized for multiple devices as new technologies emerge.
On top of that, this trend can mean great things for Internet service providers (ISPs). If individuals are taking to the Internet more, they're going to need a worthwhile connection, something they can find from indie ISPs. Plus, these are the providers individuals will want to seek out - they tend to be much cheaper than their larger counterparts, something that's a must for those who plan on spending money shopping online.