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.

CP Internet use and e-commerce