December 14, 2018

While growth of the e-commerce market shows no signs of slowing, many Canadians still choose to go into a store, talk to real people and touch their products before actually purchasing. The battle between online shopping and in-store shopping is real.

A recent survey showed that 44 per cent of shoppers said they shop in bricks-and-mortar stores daily or weekly. A Nielsen study showed that Canadian consumers make an average of 156 shopping trips a year.

In contrast to that, Statistics Canada reported that, in 2010, Canadians spent almost $114 million on online shopping, with an average of 10 orders per person. The same survey showed that the orders comprised more than $15 billion, averaging $1,362 per person every year.

For consumers such as Grayson Earl James, 20, online shopping is not as satisfying as in-store.

“I like shopping in-store because I can find things that I didn’t know I wanted,” explained James. “I feel like I’m exploring.”

Even with the growth of online shopping, physical stores still invest in making their ambience as welcoming as possible, especially with Christmas on the way. Dani Affeldt, left, and Morgan Vanderydt, from the visual merchandising arts program at Conestoga College, work hard to keep stores as attractive as possible. Photo by Karina Kajishima, Spoke News.

According to James, online shopping feels like an empty experience and is not as fulfilling, since going in and shopping makes him feel more productive. 

“When you shop online, you don’t get the experience of discovering new things,” James said. “There will always be a market for shopping in person, from somebody looking to find something new to somebody driving home and thinking it could be fastest just to stop at the grocery store on the way.”

Even though some people such as James might find it better to physically visit a store, others lean more towards online shopping.

Avid online shopper Ranna Odisho, 22, said that she likes e-commerce much more than brick-and-mortar shopping.

“I buy something every week,” Odisho said laughing. “Half of my paycheque goes back online — clothes, phone cases, makeup, purses, jewelry sometimes.”

About 49 per cent of Canadians think online shopping is much more convenient than in-store. Photo by Karina Kajishima, Spoke News.

Twenty-year-old Cory Hesch is also used to shopping online.

“I buy a lot, I guess. . . Every couple months I will buy something big online,” said Hesch.

The reasons to choose online shopping are endless, which makes it harder for brick-and-mortar stores to compete with.

“I go online shopping because it is easier, it saves time. More options for me, personally, online and better deals,” explained Odisho. “I browse many sites to get the cheapest price and I can do that in half an hour versus wasting gas and time driving around.”

“It’s a lot cheaper and I can get more specific stuff ’cause I play a lot of card games and online I can buy specific cards instead of buying a pack in a store,” said Hesch. “I’d rather shop online because of convenience. I don’t really care about anything in the store.”

One forecast says that Canadians will spend around $39 billion on online shopping by 2019, which means that a lot of the population is more into click than brick.

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