10/28/2013 10:34 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Canadians spent $18.9B online in 2012, StatsCan says

Canadians spent $18.9 billion online for goods and services in 2012, a 24 per cent jump from 2010, the last time Statistics Canada conducted a survey.

Fifty-six per cent of internet users said they purchased goods or services online last year, compared to 51 per cent in 2010, spending an average of $1,450 over about 13 transactions, according to the federal agency.

Younger Canadians were more likely to shop online. Sixty-seven per cent of internet users between age 25 and 34 made purchases from the web.

Travel remains the most-shopped item online, with 58 per cent of Canadian web users paying for hotels, airline tickets or rental cars. Event tickets were the second-most shopped, with 52 per cent buying online. 

However, online shopping remains a small part of the total retail economy, accounting for just four per cent of total retail sales of $470 billion last year.

A report released earlier this year suggests Canadian retailers are running out of time to launch online stores.

The survey, conducted by the U.S.-based Forrester Research, said 25 per cent of online sales in Canada already go through international sites, with consumers citing high prices and shipping costs for avoiding Canadian online retailers.