You are here

E-commerce websites have been changing the way consumers purchase and receive their products for years and the trend is still growing in Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians spent almost $19 billion online in 2012, a number which has risen 24 per cent in the past two years.

While the majority of online shoppers bought in areas relating to travel, such as hotel reservations and airline tickets, 42 per cent purchased clothing, jewelry, or accessories online.

"In the fashion world, one of the major advantages with online shopping is the convenience it brings," says Sean Snyder, founder of Trend Trunk. "It's much easier to do things on your own time while also being able to receive it wherever you want."

Trend Trunk is an online social marketplace where users get to shop other closets, says Snyder. They post images of new or lightly used items to sell on the website and also browse through and purchase what others have posted. 

It gets into the whole concept of over-consumption, he says. 'Why buy when you can rent?' or 'Why buy something brand new when you can get something that, in our case, may have been worn once, but still looks brand new?'

Trend Trunk is also unique in the way that they don't need a warehouse to keep inventory in like traditional e-commerce companies, says Snyder. The seller holds the product until it is purchased by another user. At that time, the company sends them a pre-adjusted, prepaid shipping label to use.

The two main reasons why Canadians did not make online purchases, according to Statistics Canada, were they either preferred to shop in person or simply had no interest in it.

One of the disadvantages to online shopping is the immediacy of getting your product, says Snyder. If I want something today, it might be more convenient for me to just scoot across the road to whatever store and get it today versus waiting until tomorrow or the next day to get it.

E-commerce companies are still trying to tackle this issue. Amazon is getting close with their new delivery system, Amazon Prime Air. It aims to get packages in customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. The company is still waiting for the necessary rules and regulations on those  vehicles to be put in place, but hopes to have them flying as early as 2015.

Today, online shopping is easier than ever. Companies like Trend Trunk have now created mobile platforms where users can safely transact across their devices adding to the list of reasons to try this growing trend.

Photo: Karelnoppe/Thinkstock