According to new data from Statistics Canada, Canadian consumers are far less likely to shop online than our neighbours to the south. In fact, out of the total retail sales of $502.6 billion in 2012, only $7.7 billion was spent online.

This means the total online spend in Canada only accounted for 1.53% of all retail sales in 2012.

While Canadians may not be converting purchases online, they are increasingly reliant on their computers, tablets and mobile devices to guide them to local brick-and-mortar stores to find their objects of desire.

In fact, according to the Google survey we shared in June 2014, 4 out of 5 North American consumers use their mobile phones to conduct local searches for store address, business hours, directions and product availability, and 50% of those are followed up with an in-store visit within a day.

The use of mobile devices to find local merchandise is no fad. Consumers are looking for the most affordable and convenient physical stores in which to make their purchase, and will continue to use technology to make future purchasing decisions. Local stores without an online presence put themselves at a serious disadvantage.