Canadians continue to allocate more of their holiday spending to online purchasing, according to a new study from public opinion and marketing research company Ipsos-Reid.
According to Ipsos-Reid, 72 percent of Canadian adults have internet access. Forty-three percent of that group have made at least one online purchase since they started using the internet and 23 percent of Internet users (defined as a Canadian adult who spends at least one hour online per week) plan to purchase a gift online during the holiday season. That percentage is up slightly from the 21 percent who planned on purchasing online during the 2001 holiday season.
The typical Canadian adult expecting to make at least one gift purchase online is planning to spend an average of $320 online - an increase from the $297 they were expecting to spend online during the 2001 holiday season. This represents a total online holiday gift-giving expenditure of $1.1 billion dollars for the 2002 Christmas shopping period. Using the same methodology last year, Canadians were planning on spending $860 million online during the 2001 holiday season.
In a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid shortly after the holiday season last year, actual expenditures were 32 percent above its November 2001 prediction. Factoring this in, total spending could be as high as $1.4 billion, a 21 percent year-over-year increase, once data collected after the 2002 holiday season is analyzed in early January.
"Although most Canadians still have not made an online purchase, there is continued growth in the channel," said Chris Ferneyhough, vice-president of technology research at Ipsos-Reid in Toronto. "However, this growth is certainly nowhere near the lofty projections we witnessed during the dot-com boom."
According to a separate Ipsos-Reid poll conducted in the United States, 32 percent of American adults with Internet access were planning on purchasing a gift online during the holiday season. Sixty-two percent of American adults with Internet access have made at least one purchase online.
The "Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report" is a comprehensive quarterly Canadian Internet trends report. The results are based on 1,000 online questionnaires completed by members of Ipsos-Reid's Canadian Internet Panel. Panelists are chosen through random telephone surveys conducted on an ongoing basis across Canada. Results are complemented by a further 1,000 interviews via telephone with Canadian adults selected by random digit dialing. Telephone interviewing was conducted from September 9th to 19th, 2002.
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