Online shopping is a new goldrush.
The new generation of online shoppers have been attracted to the promise of quick gratification, convenience and a low-price-to-performance ratio.
But some people are still not ready to make that leap.
They say online shopping can be a hassle.
Asking for a product online can be overwhelming, and it can be frustrating when a product you want doesn’t appear.
“It can be extremely frustrating and I think it’s something that’s not that big of a deal, but that’s just the way it is,” said one online shopper.
“I think people who are still getting into the idea that it’s a great thing and they want to do it, they’re not really aware that it can cause problems.”
And yet, online shopping has transformed the way Canadians shop for a variety of goods, and the online retail industry is growing at a rate of about 25 per cent a year.
But what is the big deal?
Is it worth the headache?
The answer is that it is not, said Ian Brown, senior vice-president of product development and sales for online retail giant Shopify.
“The only thing that’s really exciting about online shopping in the short term is that people will want to shop online, and then they will be able to shop at a store,” he said.
“But in the long term, it will be about making sure that they’re shopping the right way, and that they can shop the right stores and be able have a seamless experience.”
What to know about online shoppers What is online shopping?
According to the Retail Council of Canada, online retail is a $1.4-trillion-a-year industry that has grown to $2.3-trillions-a, according to the U.S. government.
There are hundreds of thousands of online retailers, with more than 80 million online customers.
Some are established brands, others are newer startups.
Shopify is the most well-known of the three, and has grown by more than 40 per cent in size in the past five years.
The company has more than 100,000 online stores, with hundreds more under development.
It sells more than 6,000 brands of products online.
In the United States, Amazon, Target and Walmart have each reported revenues of $2 billion last year.
What does it take to get online shoppers to shop?
There are a lot of things that need to happen before people can shop online.
One of the biggest obstacles is that many online retailers do not have an established retail presence, which can be costly.
For instance, if a shopper purchases a product from a shop in London, Ontario, that has no presence in Toronto, that customer may have to travel to another city to shop.
“A lot of people are not familiar with the physical shop experience, they don’t know what to expect,” said David McLean, a senior vice president at Shopify who was one of the founding members of the online shopping industry.
“So there are a whole bunch of things to consider, and they are a little bit of a challenge.”
And while many retailers can offer online sales, some choose to only sell online, at one point in time.
For example, Amazon.ca has become a hub for shopping online, with its online store offering products in its own store, as well as an online shop for people to shop through.
“Amazon is a very successful marketplace.
It has grown incredibly quickly and it has a lot to offer,” said McLean.
“We have to be careful in our approach, but I think our main focus is to be as successful as we can with what we have.”
How to shop for online products online If you are in the U, it’s important to understand the basics of how to shop and how to order online, according, the Retail Industry Association of Canada.
The RIA says that online shoppers can choose from more than 3,000 types of products, and many are offered for free or low prices.
Some retailers, such as Amazon.com, offer a full online shop.
In some cases, customers can choose to have the goods delivered directly to their home or office, where they can take them to the store.
If you live in a small town or rural area, the RIA recommends visiting a local store, even if it’s in another province.
“You can find a lot more options in smaller communities that might not be as big or as populous as larger cities,” said Michael McLean from Shopify, in a phone interview.
“And you’re not limited to a certain size or price range.”
If you’re in a bigger city, the best option might be to book a delivery.
“If you’re really a big city shopper, and you want a lot for your buck, then it’s going to be more expensive for you to go to the local store to order from,” said Brown.
“There are things that are cheaper, and there are