Although companies such as Amazon and eBay, command the online market, there is still room or small internet entrepreneurs with niche products or services to set up a profitable on-line business.
Statistics show that the number of Canadians who shop online has grown from 19.5 million in 2013 to the projected number of 22.5 million in 2018. 37% of these buyers shop online monthly or more and 75% of these spend up to $200 per month. 10% report spending up to $500 per month.
The most popular items purchased on line are: Books, music, movies and video games, electronics, smartphones, computers, clothing and accessories, appliances and tools and food. Five per cent of online shoppers purchased groceries but as more grocery stores offer home delivery, and with the coming of “DoorDash” and “Skip the Dishes” take-out delivery services, this food delivery niche market will experience major growth.
Between 16% and 40% of people surveyed said that they preferred to shop online. The percentage was larger with the younger age groups and less with the older age groups.
Why do people buy online – the three biggest reasons are reason are:
- Access to a worldwide market - Most anything you need can be purchased online including many things that are not available in Canada and a greater choice of goods.
- Price - prices are still very competitive online but can often be less than brick and mortar stores. In addition, many websites offer special sales for online customers only.
- Convenience – with so many people working from home, it is much more convenient to purchase on line and have it delivered to your home, rather than braving the traffic to go to the mall. You can also shop in your pajamas, and no one would know!
Two of the biggest concerns for on-line shoppers were the security of their personal data, and not being able to return unwanted goods.
Most people surveyed were comfortable setting up an online account with a retailer, but they were not comfortable when they were asked about their shopping habits. Most Canadians trusted websites hosted in Canada with their personal information, but 76% had concerns about their information being stored in the United States.
Many Canadian retailers allow online shoppers to return items to their brick and mortar stores giving buyers more confidence when shopping online.
VL Omni recently published their annual report on eCommerce in Canada which shows considerable growth and potential.
- In 2017 Canadian businesses sold $136 billion in goods and services online, up 42% year over year.
- 62% of Canadians who shop internationally online would prefer to shop domestically.
- 95% of small business owners bought items for their small business online
- 23.5% facilitate “click and collect” and 68.9% allow in-store returns of online purchases.
- Canadian businesses also sell their products through online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and eBay.
Whatever your niche product or service there is still room for you in the online marketplace. Now is a good time to consider what could offer online and to build a profitable business. An online business provides a great opportunity if you are retired, a stay at home Mom or if you just need some extra income.