Online shoppers click into the record books; 20% growth in online sales

PRESS RELEASE: TORONTO — Canadians shopped online in record numbers during this year’s holiday shopping season. For the first time in Canadian eCommerce history, the combined online share of sales in November and December 2015 totalled 9.8%, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which looks at Canadian retail sales across cards, cash and cheques to offer detailed insight into consumer spending trends. November and December 2015 were both record-breaking months. In November, online sales accounted for 9.7%, the highest in Canadian eCommerce history. This record was broken in December when online sales climbed to 9.9% of total retail sales, up from 8.6% in 2014.

The online shopping category showed a 20% increase during that same period compared to 2014, representing the highest year-over-year growth in SpendingPulse’s ten-year history measuring Canadian retail sales.

Total Canadian retail growth, excluding auto and gas, was steady but slow, posting a year-over-year growth of 2% over the holiday shopping period.

“Canadians are embracing online shopping and we aren’t surprised to see the growth in this category continue to trend upward as it has over the last three years,” said Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors. “When you compare the relatively slow growth of retail overall with the quick growth of online shopping, it shows the strength and growing preference of the online channel for today’s shopper. With every device quickly becoming a commerce device, we’ll be watching to see if the growth of online continues beyond the gift-giving season.”

Today’s global consumer is an omnishopper, with eight out of 10 consumers using a computer, smartphone, tablet or in-store technology when shopping, according to the MasterCard Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper. And with 52% of North American shoppers choosing to shop online because of the ease of checkout, it’s easy to see why MasterCard innovations such as MasterPass, MasterCard’s digital payments platform, give omnishoppers a fast, safe shopping experience at thousands of online merchants. MasterPass enables consumers to pay for the things they want with the security they demand, online or mobile, using any device. The platform securely stores payment and shipping information, which is readily accessible when a consumer checks out using the, “Buy with MasterPass” button and logs into their account.

“With the increase of digital shopping options – from mobile to tablet and computer – MasterCard has made it easier than ever to securely shop online. We’re focused on ensuring the online checkout experience for consumers only gets stronger via loyalty programs, in-app payments and even wearables and smart appliances,” said Brian Lang, President, MasterCard Canada.

MasterCard SpendingPulse: SpendingPulse reports on national Canadian retail sales across all payments types. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. In addition to Canada, SpendingPulse is available in the United States and select markets around the world.

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