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The latest numbers from Statistics Canada were released today and demonstrate just how wide spread Internet use is in Canada.  Across the country 80% of people 16 and over used the Internet for personal reasons with BC & Alberta at 85% and Calgary and Saskatoon leading the way with 89% of residents online.

If you break the numbers down by income 94% of households in the top quartile of income (More than $85,000 per year) use the Internet.

 96% of users go online from home and of those, 92% have high speed connections.  Highspeed access has been shown to be a leading indicator for online shopping and this is reflected in a 5% increase over 2007 for online shopping and pre-shopping (window shopping).  A full 50% of home Internet users buy personal goods or services over the Internet and 65% browse and research products.

Online merchants still have to work hard to win over customers who are new to the Internet.  35% of Internet users have been online for less than 5 years and of those 55% are very concerned about online credit card use.   Of those online more than 5 years, only 42% were very concerned about credit card use online.

In summary: More people online with faster connections doing more shopping and purchasing.  Security concerns continue to be an issue for a large number of Internet users and merchants must overcome this concern and build trust to increase online sales.

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