Blame the Internet?

A recent study by Statistics Canada reveals that Canadians are becoming more comfortable purchasing online. In 2007, almost $12.8 billion worth of orders were placed over the Internet, a 61% increase from the prior study in 2005.

   Top Internet Shopping Categories:

   1.       Travel

   2.       Books, magazines and online newspapers

   3.       Entertainment

   4.       Clothing, jewelry and accessories

Since Internet purchases require credit cards, this begs the question: Is the Internet to blame for the credit crunch?

One could argue that the increase is due to a confluence of factors including inflation, a higher comfort level with the Internet, greater Internet penetration rates, more goods becoming available online, etc., etc. – all of which are true. But, would this account for a 61% growth rate in only 3 years? Perhaps, but maybe just maybe, the Internet is not simply a more convenient and cheaper alternative to bricks and mortar shopping, but rather an extension, offering access to more stuff we want, but don’t need.

rc-car2I myself, tout the marvels of Internet shopping, having saved over $100 on a Radio Controlled car. I wonder though, as I recently saw my RC racer still new in its box, if without the Internet, would I have even made the purchase in the first place?


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