The number of Canadians using their phones to purchase products online
continues to soar year by year. According to Canada’s Internet Factbook 2017
this number has tripled from a mere 12 percent in 2014 to a whopping 36 percent
in the year 2017. The report also cited that approximately 82 percent of
Canadians have made at least one online purchase in the past twelve months and
that 25 percent of the total Canadian population prefers to transact online
over brick and mortar stores. Of course, this should not come as surprise
considering the vast majority of Canadians own smartphones and that public
awareness campaigns on the benefits of using online platforms have increased by
significant margins over the past three years.
The Catalyst, another publication, also conducted a study on the smartphone
behavior of Canadians in 2017 and determined that as more Canadians continue to adopt smartphones to help them carry their day to day activities, the use of
these smartphones will continue to reflect the users’ wants and needs. This
means smartphones are going to be tailored more and more to cater to the
individual user’s specs to enhance their comfort and usability. In regards to
online shopping, the Catalyst delved into some of the factors that determined
how Canadians interacted with their phones. Smartphone interaction is one of
the contributing factors that led to the huge increase in the number of online mobile shoppers.
In general, when users were asked about browsing and their biggest
frustrations, the screen size was the most prevalent issue. It was the factor
that caused some people to defect to computers and laptops to conduct their
shopping. When broken down into age demographics however, almost 50% of the
population surveyed between the ages of 18 and 24 cited small screens as a
demotivating factor. Those between the ages of 25 and 34 cited slow site speeds
as the major hindrance while those in the age group of 35 and above cited a
combination of both screen and button size. There is no doubt that in future
there will be unique smartphone designs that incorporate these findings to make
the mobile shopping experience even more friendly.
While revealing its stats, the Factbook also compared the data of the top 5
most bought items and how this list compared to that of 2016. Surprisingly, the
list had not changed but rather slight differences in the percentages of each
item were observed. The top 5 products bought by Canadians online include
electronics, books, household goods, game tickets and clothing. The percentage
of clothing and apparel bought increased by 2 percent from 54 percent in 2016.
Household goods also reported an increase of 9 percent up from 32 percent in
2016. On the flip side, the purchase of game tickets fell by 1 percent in 2017
to 40 percent compared to 2016. The percentage of books bought also declined by
3% recording 40 percent in sales. Only electronic purchases held steady in both
2016 and 2017 at 36 percent.
Barely just one year since the Canadian government declared high speed
internet an essential for quality of life the number of Canadians who use their
smartphones to access the internet has increased as data infrastructure across
the country receives a major overhaul. This means people who normally had to
wait to get to work or travel to cyber cafés to use the computers can now
access the same services straight from their cell phones wherever they are at
According to the CRTC, (Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications
Commission), apparently 18 percent of Canadians do not have access to a
broadband connection. They either rely on dial up or have no internet at all.
As the government, through federal programs and via specific ISPs,
continues to revamp the country’s data problem it is expected that by 2021at
least 90 percent of the population will have access to fast broadband internet
connections at affordable rates. With new technology in place, broadband
companies such as Acanac are continually dropping their prices to
ensure their data services are affordable for the general public.
With increased infrastructure development, such companies are also expanding their
outreach to the remote regions of Canada to ensure even more citizens can have
access to their services. Through support from the government’s federal
programs this outreach is only anticipated to increase and diversify with time. It is also anticipated that the number of players in the data industry will increase significantly over the next five years. This will result in increased competition which will ultimately favor the users.