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Browse - Click - Buy: Canadian online retail purchases on the rise

By Julie King |

There is good news for Canadian retailers that have invested in e-commerce websites: Online sales increased by 24.9 per cent in the first half of 2012 compared to the first quarter sales of the previous year, according to the SpendingPlus report from MasterCard.

Overall growth of retail sales in Canada was a modest 2.2 per cent.

"While overall retail sales growth in Canada has been modest through the first half of the year, the e-Commerce growth rates are truly impressive.  The growth in online sales is a good indicator of how Canadian retailers are capitalizing on the shift of sales from brick and mortar locations to online sales channels," says Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

SpendingPlus highlights total retail sales across all payment forms, including purchases made by cash and cheque. It also looks at sales in four retail categories: e-commerce, grocery, department stores and gasoline.

Sales growth in the department store sector has increased by 6.1 per cent compared to 2011, while sales in the grocery sector rose by 0.3 per cent.

Fluctuations in the price of gasoline has an impact on increases and declines in this sector. The SpendingPulse report notes that spending growth in this sector rose in the first half of 2012 compared to the previous year and then decelerated as gasoline prices began to drop.

SpendingPulse reports, which have been available in the US since 2006, are now available in Canada on a subscription basis.

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