Canadian online retail sales in December increase 26 percent from 2011 to $2.8 billion

220px-MacBook_AirA recent MasterCard SpendingPulse report revealed that online shoppers in Canada made $2.8 billion in online purchases during the holiday season, or approximately 6.6 percent of total December sales, while sales rose 26 percent from 2011.

“More and more Canadians are moving from researching online and then buying in stores,” Richard McLaughlin, the senior vice president of global products and solutions for MasterCard Canada, said. “Instead, they are taking advantage of the convenience, safety and security of online shopping. You can browse, price compare, find the best deals and check out with your credit card, all in the comfort of your home. During the busy holiday season, that’s an attractive proposition for shoppers. You can’t shop online with cash, and that’s one of the benefits of electronic payments. It makes things easy for consumers and opens new doors for merchants.”

Total retail sales in Canada increased 1.6 percent to $42 billion in December, while U.S. retail sales saw their slowest growth rate since 2009. Online retail sales have increased by at least 20 percent for 15 months in a row. Year-over-year sales, however, revealed 43 months of consecutive growth.

“We kind of continue to be amazed by the growth rates that we see in online, it just doesn’t appear to be a sales channel that’s slowing down a lot,” Mike Berry, the senior managing consultant for MasterCard Advisors, said, according to The Huffington Post.

Berry said that online shopping in Canada will continue to grow.

“Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with the online shopping experience, even with things like shoes and clothing—if they don’t fit they don’t have a problem throwing it back in the box and sending it back,” Berry said, The Huffington Post reports.

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