Over the past decade, online shopping has drastically re-shaped the retail landscape in Canada, introducing greater savings and more convenience in shopping and helping struggling families make their dollars go as far as possible.
With cheap, fast delivery options available and less overhead than traditional retailers, online stores are able to offer much lower prices than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. And as online shopping re-shapes shopping behavior, brands that used to draw most of their profits from traditional outlets are now moving a growing part of their business online to stay competitive — which in turn is expanding the number of options available and keeping costs down.
Most shoppers now understand that they can save significant amounts of money by shopping over the Internet, which is why e-commerce is now the fastest-growing segment of the $23-trillion global retail market.
However, as more and more retail businesses develop sophisticated online sales strategies, navigating the sheer volume of e-commerce sites has become a challenge in and of itself.
This has spurred the rise of a number of online shopping tools and marketplaces that allow Canadians to find the best prices for the products they need without having to spend hours scrolling through different e-commerce sites.
Here are three ways ordinary Canadian families are using shopping online to stay within their budgets and make their money go further:
Online Shopping Classifieds
If prices are generally lower online than in brick-and-mortar shops, then prices for used goods online can come with even deeper discounts.
The rise of online classifieds sites that allow Canadians to buy and sell directly from their peers is driving a flourishing second-hand marketplace, helping Canadians find the best prices on everything from books to household appliances.
Users of online classified sites are often trying to sell their goods as quickly as possible, which means that diligent shoppers can find often find huge discounts on products that are in perfect condition. And because classifieds offer direct sales, shoppers have more flexibility, and sellers need to keep their prices competitive if they want to attract buyers.
Classifieds sites also allow Canadian families looking to save a little money the opportunity to post their own classified advertisements, making these online marketplaces a two-way street: if you need a new appliance, you can sell the old one for scrap on the same classified site you are using to purchase a new one.
The rise of online classified sites has had a particular impact in helping Canadians save money on expensive purchases like automobiles. Where finding a good deal on a used car once meant visiting used car lots and dealerships or spending hours sifting through classifieds in industry publications, online classifieds provide a much faster way for Canadians who want to buy a used vehicle to connect with people in their region who are looking to sell.
While finding a good price on quality used products is the first choice for many Canadians, when it comes to products that are harder to find second-hand, price comparison apps are quickly becoming the tool of choice.
Price comparison apps are designed to make e-commerce more easily navigable, and by aggregating the prices of millions of products being sold across the Internet, they help shoppers find which outlet is offering the best deal.
The number of e-commerce options growing by the day, and finding the best price online can mean spending hours scrolling through different online retailers, comparing prices on similar items from different retailers.
With price comparison apps, shoppers can quickly and easily search for particular products and immediately see at what prices different websites are offering them.
Many price comparison apps also allow shoppers to see how prices on certain brands have fluctuated over time, and can even allow shoppers to receive alerts should products they are interested in buying go on sale.
Grocery Delivery Services
Internet-based grocery delivery services are one of the hottest new trends in Canadian shopping, and consumers are turning to them in large part because of the savings they can offer.
Grocery delivery services, especially ones associated with local sources for produce, eggs, and meat, often undercut large retailers by offering better prices on high-quality products.
Produce boxes coordinated through online subscriptions, which have become especially popular in cities across the country during the summer months, allow shoppers to have fresh, seasonal vegetables delivered straight to their door every week, often at a significantly lower price than a supermarket might charge for similar quality.
Unlike other online shopping tools, grocery delivery services aren’t attracting thrifty shoppers solely through lower prices; one of the main arguments for using grocery delivery services is that they cut out many of the temptations associated with going to a brick-and-mortar grocery store. Because grocery delivery services encourage shoppers to be more discerning and exercise greater forethought, this has the benefit of encouraging smarter shopping practices.
The most recent data suggests that despite general increases in Canadian wealth, large parts of the population are still struggling with tight budgets and consumer debt. For families like these, saving money by shopping online is vitally important to managing expenses and getting the most out of their purchases.
Online classifieds and the new marketplaces they have created, price comparison apps, and grocery deliver services are all playing an important role in helping Canadians make every dollar count.
As e-commerce emerges as the fastest-growing sector in the retail market, it is possible the heightened competition online sales makes possible will continue to drive down prices.
Where once a new business needed a storefront, enough capital to secure distribution networks, and a significant advertising budget for print, radio, and even television, it is now possible for many entrepreneurs to enter the market with while operating from home through online sales.
Only time will tell what ultimate impact this has on product costs, but for now Canadians are enjoying a range of newly affordable products, all thanks to the Internet.
Discussion: What do you like or dislike about online shopping in Canada? Leave your comments below.
CBB at Home
This week has been a mish-mash of busy work-days filled with tissue and hot baths to try and rid of this cold that I managed to get from our little guy. He was just the same if not worse than Mrs. CBB and I but we are slowly coming out of yet another solid catch of illness.
The rest of our weekend will be at my in-laws house to help downsizing the property inside and out. I’ve got lots on my plate at the moment and although I’d like to say I can easily ditch one or the other is difficult to say. I’m hoping we can glide through the hard parts and leave the easy stuff until the end.
Boring week I know but when you’re sick not much else matters even though everything else matters,if that makes sense. It does to me. That’s all folks. Oh, and enjoy this weekend because if the weather holds true it’s going to be LOVELY.
CBB Published Posts
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Top Post This Week: Free Money Saving Tools
- Should Your First Rental Property Purchase Be A Condo Or House?
- How To Handle Food Recalls In Canada
- The Perfect Keto Crepes (Low-Carb)
- Yearly Banking Fees Seniors Could Have Avoided
- Our Sunday Dinner Traditions (recipes included)
Favourite Weekly Read
This week Multigenerational living entered my radar after reading the Financial Post who highlighted how more and more families are gearing up to live this way. I remember when I first moved to Canada and realized how big the houses were here and how so many people could afford them.
Turns out that many families live together generation after generation until they can save enough money to buy a house or they stay. Friends of ours in Toronto both have good jobs and with 2 kids still struggle to buy a house. They simply can’t afford it so they live in the basement at his parents house.
Multigenerational households, the ones where at least three generations of a family are living under the same roof, are even more distinct. Whereas such households represented a mere 2.9 per cent of all Canadian households in 2016, they represent a larger segment of the population near large urban centres.
As mentioned in the article this way of living is not for everyone and I’d be the first to say I couldn’t do it unless I had to do it. Living with my family might be a nightmare with our dancing personalities. Most often this is done for financial purposes or to keep family close until they are ready to go out on their own. Some never do.
Would you consider a multigenerational living arrangement? Why or why not?
Parenting and Home Life
Now that Spring is supposedly sticking around starting this weekend it may be time to start thinking about mosquitoes and summer deck life. Some of the best known mosquito repellents are herbs such as Rosemary, Basil, Lemon Balm and Lavender.
I enjoy reading informative blog posts like this that explain what you need to know and gets straight to the point. Well, I’m off to start my seedlings!
Do you plant any of these herbs to ward off mosquitoes?
Frugal Recipe Of The Week
Amanda at The Chunky Chef won my stomach this week with her One Pan French Onion Smothered Pork Chops. What I love about this idea is that it’s done in one pan and the flavours appeal to me. I’m a mushroom guy so I’d love to add loads of mushrooms on top. Certainly a frugal recipe for the menu plan. Enjoy
Fan Frugal Find of the Week
Shes back with more deals for everyone to drool over in 2018! Take it away Colleen!!
Hi there everyone,
The Apple wood Bacon is reg $7.49 here and the summer sausage $2.69 a package. With these prices I was able to walk away with over $30 worth of meat for $4.95 to feed my family.
Fans, If you have a deal like Colleen or another type of bargain send it to me for your chance to be entered in a yearly draw for a gift card.
CBB Words of Wisdom
If we mourn everything that went wrong in our life whether on a daily basis or as things pop up we will be a nation that never smiles. Let what you can’t control go and focus on your happiness even if that means breaking a smile into your morning, afternoon and evening to be thankful for all that you have in this world.
Life is too short to be angry at the world. This is your world, your day so embrace your happiness.
Saturday Search Term Giggles
Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.
Most times funny, Sometimes serious.
- Cheap home pregnancy tests – Might as well save where you can because once you have a kid you’ll really see what expenses look like.
- Retired husband spends all the money– Well, you either divorce him and take half while you can or sit around and wait until he blows it all. By this point if you haven’t been able to talk about money there’s probably no hope in fixing it.
- Cheapest pocket diapers– I don’t even know what this means.
- CIBC bank is a rip-off– Welcome to the real world
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Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.
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- The Saturday Weekend Review #250: How To Test Budget A Mortgage Before Buying A House
- The Saturday Weekend Review #251: How Spring Cleaning Helped Us Uncover A Pot of Gold
- The Saturday Weekend Review #252: Waiting For A Living Wage To Budget Is A Bad Idea
Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read disclaimer.