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E-commerce Canada: Household Shopping on the Internet, 23.9.04

Statistics Canada - The Daily

Canadian households spent just over $3.0 billion shopping on the Internet on everything from airplane tickets to books, according to the 2003 Household Internet Use Survey (HIUS).

An estimated 3.2 million Canadian households actively participated in e-commerce in 2003, up from 2.8 million the year before. These households accessed the Internet from various locations, not just home. In total, they placed 21.1 million orders, up from 16.6 million the previous year.

The $3.0 billion in orders placed over the Internet represents a 25% increase from $2.4 billion spent online in 2002. This growth rate far exceeds the 5% increase in the number of households that accessed the Internet from any location in 2003.

Total electronic commerce spending represents only a fraction of the $688 billion in total personal expenditure in Canada last year. However, the new figures confirm that households are increasingly using the Internet as a method of purchasing goods from both Canadian and foreign vendors.

The electronic commerce components of the HIUS from 2001 to 2003 were redesigned to capture Internet shopping from households that regularly used the Internet from various locations, solely for household purposes.


  • One-third of online purchases made on foreign Web sites
  • Concerns still high, but online credit card use rises
  • Books, magazines still most popular purchase
  • Growth in purchase of digital products (20% up from 16%)
  • 7 out of 10 use high-speed access at home gateway to online purchases
  • Ontario households account for almost half of total e-commerce spending


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"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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