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Canadians Are Spending More Online But Still Quite Concerned About Internet Security

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While new research shows that more than eight in 10 Canadian Internet users have made an online purchase in the past year, further evidence indicates that as many as 6 in 10 feel vulnerable to fraud while conducting online transactions.

Ipsos Reid reports that 82 percent of Canadians have made an online purchase this year with the average annual tally sitting at $954. It's not surprising to find that consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are making the most digital purchases with 92 percent doing so compared to 82 percent of those aged 35 to 54 and 74 percent of senior Canadians, 55 years and older.

In the Sept. 3 survey, Ipsos Reid points out that cosmetic and beauty products gained in popularity among online shoppers and increased six percentage points to 29 percent from last year. Similarly, pet products jumped six percent to 17 percent overall and online sales of furniture and housewares grew by five percent to 23 percent. Also gaining traction were groceries, which saw sales climb five points to 15 percent and glasses and contact lenses enjoyed a four point gain to 15 percent in total.

While it's encouraging to eCommerce firms that Canadians are becoming more comfortable spending money online, it is somewhat troubling that another study from Kaspersky Labs shows that nearly half of all people who shop on the Internet feel vulnerable in doing so, with 62 percent actually indicating fear of financial fraud when completing a transaction online.

Kaspersky Labs and B2B International recently found that 42 percent of Internet shoppers worldwide would use online payment systems more often if cyber fraud were not a worry. In fact, 37 percent of users said they have stopped a transaction halfway because of security concerns.

Amazon.ca still maintains the etailing lead among Canadians with 24 percent of those surveyed indicating they've made a recent purchase, up from 20 percent a year earlier, while fans of eBay maintained a steady 10 percent sales support.

Even though 88 percent of online purchases made in the past 12 months was conducted through desktop and notebook computers, smartphone and tablet use showed a marked increased thanks to strong millennial representation. Nearly 33 percent of those 18 to 34 years said they made a purchase with their smartphone, compared to 8 percent of those 55 years and older.