Announces the Top 10 Online Purchases of 2011

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If we are what we eat, then what do online shopping habits say about Canadian society? releases the 10 most popular products purchased online in 2011.

Shopbot, Canada's leading comparison shopping engine

Shopbot, Canada's leading comparison shopping engine experienced a nearly 40% growth in 2011, offering consumers more choice in a diversity of brands and products, and providing more quality traffic to our merchant partners in steadily new and increasingly repeat consumers.

It’s probably overzealous to suggest that 2011 was the Year of the Online Shopper, but it is no stretch to describe this year as pivotal for e-commerce in Canada. Consumer confidence in online systems soared, retailers began tapping the market like never before, and shopping websites experienced over 8% growth. Where once we were content to browse and research products online, more than half of all Canadian shoppers now make their purchases online, from contact lenses to bathtubs to tires. According to leading comparison shopping engine, here’s what we bought this year:

1.    Canon cameras. Purchasing digital cameras and camera lenses online is as tried and true as online shopping itself. This year, Canon stood out among other brands with its popular PowerShot ELPH 300 HS and PowerShot S95 offerings. The manufacturer is competing with other online retailers directly through its Canadian eStore, leaving consumers set to win with great prices and bonus deals, such as free and flat shipping.

2.    Tablets. With the HP Touchpad out of the race, Apple’s iPad and the Acer Iconia were this year’s best sellers in the tablet product category. Particularly in the four weeks leading to Father’s Day and Christmas, Shopbot noted surges in tablet purchases from a variety of merchant partners, including B&H, and Staples.

3.    iPods. With Apple Canada joining Shopbot’s 300+ merchant partners this year along with Henry’s and Mostly Digital, we’re not at all surprised to see the iPod Touch 8GB and iPod Nano 8GB among the most popular online purchases of 2011.

4.    Wii. This may also have been the sound consumers made while purchasing Mario Kart Wii, Karaoke Revolution, Wii Fit, Just Dance 3 and countless other Wii video games, controllers and accessories online. More than any other gaming console, Canadians took Wii home this year, and online retailers like Amazon, Dell and GreyTech Computer Inc. supplied them with an endless variety of games.

5.    Sunglasses. The fashion and accessories product category experienced the greatest growth in retail offering and consumer traffic this year. Free shipping and lenient return policies helped to dilute perceived risk about fit and flattery. With more than 10,000 pairs of sunglasses to choose from, this also is a great example of how filtering by brand, color, material, style, shape and price will enhance the consumer experience even more in 2012.

6.    Sports merchandising. Whether for a Canucks scoreboard digital alarm clock or a Detroit Red Wings baby mobile, Canadian shoppers spent copious amounts of money buying sports paraphernalia this year. FansEdge,, The Sports Den and Wayfair are among the retailers offering nearly 218,000 products online in this category.

7.    Bathtubs. Shopbot noted a nesting trend in consumer purchases, which peaked in September at the start of the new school year. Floors, desks, bedding and other home improvement essentials also were popular, but free shipping offers from merchants including and Vintage Tub & Bath likely sweetened tub deals.

8.    Strollers. Buying a stroller today can feel like buying a car — a necessity with countless features and functionalities to compare — so it’s no wonder that Canadian parents chose to buy them online this year. When Saks Fifth Avenue and Sears came on board with, their choices grew by nearly 22%.

9.    Contact lenses. Anyone who isn’t comparing prices online before purchasing a new supply of contact lenses is probably paying too much. This speaks to a larger trend noted by Shopbot in 2011 towards replenishing personal necessities online. Also with soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and baby care products, consumers are restocking for less without sacrificing quality or brand preference.

10.    Tires. Perhaps it’s not surprising at all that Canadians chose to make a necessary purchase of four specific and heavy items online this year. Between offerings by eBay, Rack Attack Products Ltd. and, online shoppers seemingly had no trouble finding the size, width and profile they needed, in any season and at the lowest cost.

“Retailers that aren’t yet equipped for e-commerce in Canada and aren’t planning to be soon should really take note,” says Shopbot National Sales Director Ashley Bienvenu. “ experienced a nearly 40% growth in 2011, offering consumers more choice in a diversity of brands and products, and providing more quality traffic to our merchant partners in steadily new and increasingly repeat consumers. We think it’s safe to say that online shopping is here to stay.” is Canada’s premier online bargain shopping engine. Launched in 2004 and specifically tailored to connect discerning Canadian consumers with competitive Canadian retailers, Shopbot utilizes its own award-winning product search technology to surface the most relevant results for customers and the lowest prices. Shopbot’s model of delivering convenience, comparison and value to Canadian households—and quality traffic to its merchant partners—has grown so successful, the company has expanded to offer similar online comparison shopping services in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa.

For further details or to schedule an interview, please contact Ashley Bienvenu at Ashley(at)shopbot-inc(dot)com or on 612.424.3822.


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Ashley Bienvenu