VANCOUVER, BC: Driven by millennials, a full 82% of Canadian internet users made an online purchase over the past year, although the great majority (88%) did so via a PC or laptop, according to new research.

Based on the responses of 800 adults, the latest Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report established that nine-in-ten (92%) Canadian consumers aged 18-34 made at least one online purchase.

This figure dropped to 82% among respondents aged 35-54, and 74% for those aged 55 and older, although all age groups reported a clear majority who shopped online and their average spend amounted to $954.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the rapid uptake of mobile devices for online shopping in some other markets, smartphones and tablets were used by just a fifth of Canadians – at 20% and 19% respectively – although both devices are growing in popularity.

Again, the influence of younger online consumers emerged in the survey, which found a third (33%) of those aged 18-34 reported making a purchase via their smartphone compared with just 8% of respondents aged 55 and over.

"We're seeing that today's consumer is approaching shopping from a variety of ways," commented Karen Beck, associate vice president at Ipsos Reid.

"While PCs clearly remain a pervasive component of online shopping, this fast-growing enthusiasm for mobile stresses the importance of delivering an enhanced and consistent experience across all devices, whether through mobile websites or apps," she added.

Turning to consumers' online purchase choices and category preferences, the survey found the cosmetics and beauty products segment increased six percentage points last year to 29% while pet products grew six points to 17%.

Furniture and housewares rose five points to 23%, groceries also grew by five points to 15%, while glasses and contact lenses increased four points to 15%.

Data sourced from Ipsos Reid; additional content by Warc staff