Online shopping may surge this Christmas

Nov 19, 2012 | Biz/Tech

By: Jeanette Liu

More Canadian shoppers may be foregoing mom and pop shops with locally-produced goods in favor of online ordering this holiday season.

Almost 45 per cent of Canadians plan to shop exclusively online or via mobile devices this holiday season, according to a new eBay survey, which finds people cite convenience, saving time and saving money as principal reasons.

The increase in online shopping has also led to a decrease in local purchasing sales, according to eBay.

“Online consumers shop on their screens because it’s easier and less time consuming than having to purchase in store,” Andrew Leopold, associate director of public relations and communications from Humber’s marketing and communications office, told Humber News. “But if they need to purchase in store they’re more likely to shop at the mall than at a local shop because it’s more convenient, which is what shoppers want.”

Zoe Leong, the owner of Petite Four, a clothing boutique based exclusively online, said she isn’t surprised that consumers are choosing to purchase gifts over the web than at the mall or a local shop.

“You can shop online any time and any day, something physical stores haven’t mastered,” Leong told Humber News.“Profit margins have definitely increased over the holiday season at my store.”

The impact on locally-produced goods is part of the concern Canadian businesses may have with the trend, although not the only impediment, according to Emily Eyre, Humber’s manager of purchasing services and sustainability.

“Buying locally is great because it really helps support your community,” Eyre told Humber News. “But, in some cases purchasing select products on a local level could be more difficult because of some trade agreements that prevent it.”

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