The internet, the world’s largest network, connects households, consumers, businesses, and governments in over 100 countries worldwide. It is growing at a fast pace, and consequently e-commerce is growing as fast, because many operations of e-commerce are conducted over the world wide web.
E-commerce is conducting commerce electronically without producing paper. It includes buying and purchasing goods and services electronically, for example through the Internet. Due to scope of possibilities a retailer has to reach new customers and suppliers all over the world, and the time savings due to emails, e-commerce is growing at a very high pace. The article “E-commerce thrives in Canada” indicates that performing business electronically is growing substantially in Canada. According to this article, J.C. Williams Group conducted a survey among 1,312 Canadians who had purchased goods online within six months prior to the survey. Of all Canadians that were questioned, 32% had made five or more purchases online and 68% Canadians had made one to four purchases. This indicates that purchasing goods online is popular among Canadians and selling goods online is very profitable for Canadian companies.
Statistics Canada reported that in 2005, e-commerce sales totaled CAD39.2 billion (up by CAD32.7 billion since 2001). The figures include both private and public sector sales over the Internet. Statistics Canada also reports that two years later, in 2007, the e-commerce sales of the private and public sector had already reached an estimated $62.7 billion. This indicates that e-commerce is growing at a very fast pace.
Having seen the effect of e-commerce on the revenue, many retailers have created their own websites. In 2005, 42% of retailers in Canada had a website, indicating a growth of 4% from 2004 (Statistics Canada). The reasons vary from online marketing, selling products, to purchasing goods from suppliers online. Retail stores have also discovered that online purchases of customers who need to pick up (or return) goods at a retail store often triggers impulse purchases at the store. According to Jeffrey Grau, a senior analyst at eMarketer, “numerous recent consumer studies have shown that multi-channel shoppers, on average, spend more with a retailer than single-channel shoppers." In April 2006 55% of online purchases were either picked up (38%) or returned (17%) at a retail store.
In 2007, about 87% of firms in the private sector used the Internet in 2007 and 36% of private-sector firms reported using the Internet for coordination purposes with their suppliers and customers. Other motives to use the Internet were lowering costs and reaching new customers. The public sector reported similar reasons for using the Internet. Better co-ordination was reported by 59% of public-sector firms and 48% indicated cost reduction as a potential benefit as a reason to use the Internet.
The survey by J.C. Williams also shows that 73% of Canadians...