With the meteoric rise in online shopping sites, all you have to do is use your Internet-enabled device, enter your preferred platform's "URL," and make a selection based on your cravings. It's that easy and convenient.
Nothing came by accident, and the same can be said about online shopping which has a long history that dates back over 40 years. Interested in broadening your knowledge bank about online shopping details? This article was drafted just for you.
We'll be taking a closer look at what online shopping entails, the history behind the industry we know today, and what it offers to Canadian residents.
What is Online Shopping?
Online shopping, also known as e-shopping, refers to transactions involving consumers searching different platforms for a specific commodity. After selecting one that tickles their fancy, you make seamless online banking payments without engaging a physical agent.
In more succinct terms, you're using a web browser on your Internet-enabled device to accomplish transactions that were physical in times past.
When these goods are purchased, individuals can get them at their doorstep without having to leave the confines of their homes. While some goods might take hours to arrive, other commodities that require a set logistic process might take weeks to arrive (usually "out-of-country" orders).
As we've established earlier, this industry is a fast-paced one. Consumers have quickly taken to this gift of technology, as almost all transactions are done online. What's the result of this meteoric rise? Billions of Canadian dollars annually. As this number increases with each passing day, it's little wonder why a "truckload" of businesses are seeking to stake a claim in the market.
Who Provides Online Shopping Services?
The online shopping scene is run by retail companies. Although there are some online stores without a physical location, most retail companies have special sites to foster online transactions.
After an order has been successfully placed, consumers either get goods delivered to their homes or make "pick-ups" at the closest merchant store location. Both variations are quite convenient as consumers get to choose how and where they wish to receive their goods.
When Did Online Shopping Start?
Online shopping has become an activity every legal age Canadian resident engages in at one point or the other. Therefore, it might sound alien that this technological advancement wasn't present some decades ago.
However, online shopping didn’t just pop up out of the blue. It slowly developed through the years, while advancing to make sure that transactions were safe, secure, and stable.
Here’s a short trip down memory lane:
- 1979 - This year saw the development of a technique that made transactions and dealings between businesses and consumers (B2C) and other similar business models (B2B) possible. That said, it's worth mentioning that without the efforts of English inventor Micheal Aldrich, this discovery wouldn't have been possible.
- 1984 - Five years after the breakthrough discovery of B2B and B2C, the standardization of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) comes to the fore as it's developed to aid businesses in completing transactions more effectively and reliably.
- 1987 - 1987 was the year that saw the development of the first-ever merchant account. The idea of this development was simple - create a platform where software developers could sell their solutions without hassles on the World Wide Web.
- 1992 - The world's leading retailer in computer products, "CompuServe" starts showcasing its offerings online and makes sales. For the first time in man's known history, people could place orders on computer products and receive them at their home's doorstep.
- 1995 - The launch of eBay and Amazon marked a pivotal point in e-commerce proceedings, as we know.
- 1996 - At last, an aspect of online shopping lands in Canada as HTC announces their just-released Canadian e-commerce application.
- 2000 - A boom in the online shopping industry as it achieved a retail spending total of 20 billion dollars.
- 2012 - This year was a legible indicator that all online shopping-related activities had come to stay for good as the market achieved the $200 billion global milestones. Trends such as private sample sales sites and mobile commerce confirmed that online shopping was an effective alternative to the traditional form of shopping.
- 2017 - Top e-commerce online platform "Amazon" announces its plans to start delivering consumer goods via aerial drones. While this plan hasn't been adopted on a commercial scale, consumers are at the "edge of their seats" to experience this mind-blowing development.
Fast forward to 2021, the online shopping market is still gaining traction and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Online Shopping Canada: What You Can Find at Canadian Online Stores
At any Canadian online store, you're sure to find anything you'll ever need. When we mean anything, they include:
Canadian Clothing Brands
Depending on your preference, you can find clothing brands that are considered favourites amongst Canadian residents.
Notable mentions here include Canada Goose, Mutton Head, Zen Nomad, Raised by Wolves, Stanfield's, Dime, Viberg, and Sorel. Find out more about Canadian clothing brands.
Are you tired of your kids constantly running around the house and destroying precious furniture?
With a simple search at your preferred online store, you can find kids' toys that are guaranteed to keep them busy at all times. Read here for tips on finding the perfect kids’ toy.
Personal Care Products
These products are considered a "must-have" if you're looking to maintain personal hygiene and improve your facial features.
They include cleansing pads, colognes, cotton swabs, cotton pads, deodorants, eyeliners, lip balm, hand soap, and so on. Personal care covers a wide product range, and we have a separate feature where we break down the basics of personal care.
Looking to improve your fitness lifestyle? There are some sports-exclusive clothes just for you at online stores. Sportswear ranges from tracksuits, shorts, T-shirts, and lots more.
Just like the title suggests, homewares are add-ons present in your home, including kitchen utensils, furniture, and other objects that are mainly for domestic use.
These are commodities that are designed primarily for entertainment and communication purposes. Electronics include home theatres, DVD sets, televisions, mobile phones, laptops, printers, and shredders.
Even the rarest fanshop merchandise like player autographs, t-shirts, training shirts, and bubblehead figures are all available for sale online. Not to mention much easier to find.
These are items or equipment that are present in most businesses and organizations. Usually, for bookkeeping, cleaning, and janitorial purposes, office supplies can range from staplers, pens, markers, pencils, sharpeners, cleaners, ink cartridges, USB thumb drives, and other items you're sure to find in a similar setting.
At online stores, you can find different multimedia devices such as headphones and cameras. With multiple variations available, endeavour to choose one that's from a trusted manufacturer and accentuates your needs.
Pet Shop Products
If you're finding it hard to visit that pet shop within your neighbourhood, you can quickly get pet-related products on almost every Canadian e-commerce platform.
Here, regardless of what pet you have, you can buy some animal food, leashes, pretzel toys, cages, aquariums, and whatever tickles the fancy of your pet.
Sex Shop Offerings
In Canada today, sexuality is one of the most vocal topics. However, people still have certain reservations about visiting a physical sex shop.
That said, online stores are changing the narrative as individuals can now make those discreet sex toys purchasing without anyone batting an eyebrow.
Benefits of Online Shopping to Canadian Residents
Visiting AllReviews can be an eye-opener into the various benefits Canadians can enjoy at online stores.
Here are the top benefits of online shopping to the average Canadian consumer. They include:
Accords Convenience to Customers
Well, this is the main idea of online shopping. With this transaction medium in place, consumers can place and receive merchandise orders from the confines of their homes without having to do anything extra except using the internet.
That said, in scenarios whereby a consumer has a "change of heart" concerning an order, that individual can cancel orders without hassles.
There's No Panic Buying
Unlike physical stores that feature representatives constantly trying to influence your purchase decision, customers aren't tricked into making "panic buys" at Canadian online stores.
At physical stores, customers would have to endure long waits before having their goods checked and paid for.
With e-commerce sites popping up, you can now shop from your home and make swift payments instead of waiting for an "over-the-counter" representative to pass your goods through the scanner.
Aside from the few moments set aside for site maintenance, online stores are available round the clock.
Here, you don't have to worry about your favourite brand featuring closure times as you can place orders anywhere, anytime.
Thanks to numerous tracking sites available to Canucks, customers can see the real-time locations of their goods.
Reviews and Online Shopping
Reviews always have a way of influencing the decisions of Canucks when it comes to choosing an online shopping platform. It’s quite fortunate too, since there are so many online webshops to pick from.
With the reviews of online shopping companies, choosing the best e-commerce platform has never been easier.