Online spend jumps 24% year-on-year

Accounting for 10% of total retail sales.

Total online spend in 2018 topped $27.5 billion, a 24% increase on the previous year, according to new research from Australia Post.

The annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report from Australia Post shows that Australians are embracing online shopping at an accelerated rate – with the online goods spend for 2018 reaching 10% of total retail – two years faster than expected.

Australia Post general manager for parcels and express services, Ben Franzi said the report also shows that 73% of Australian households shopped online in 2018 – some 7.6 million Australian households.

“Australians are getting online more and more, and changing the face of shopping. With it, they are also expecting faster service and delivery – with next day deliveries growing by 31.7%, with more than 62% of these fashion related purchases.”

Franzi also said the way Australians are shopping online is also changing, with smartphones increasingly being the medium of choice.

“Use of the smartphone to make online purchases increased 28% for the year – to now make up more than 26% of all purchases. It now sits comfortably alongside the laptop (32.8%) and desktop (27.3%), both of which fell for the year.”

Fashion continues to be the leading category, accounting for more than a third (35%) of all purchases, with more than 20% growth year on year. Variety stores, health and beauty and homewares and appliances also attracted online shoppers.

Marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy, together with newcomers Amazon, Catch Group, Kogan and Myer, continue to be popular.

“Australians appreciate the convenience that comes with being able to access goods from a variety of sellers in one place – it is quite literally a market, replicated online and providing an abundance of choice for consumers.”

The convenience of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options such as AfterPay has also sparked joy for consumers, especially amongst  millennials who have become the fastest adopters. Unlike a credit card there is no service fee for customers who pay on time.

When it comes to overall volumes, the November/December period was the busiest time of the year – as Australians sought to snag a bargain ahead of Christmas.

“The five weeks from 11 November to 15 December accounted for almost 15% of all online purchases. The peak for this period was the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which accounted for the biggest online shopping week in Australia’s history, recording growth of over 28%, year-on-year.”

The number one online buying location was once again Point Cook in Melbourne’s western suburbs, which topped the list for the fourth year in a row, followed by Toowoomba, QLD, Mackay, QLD, Liverpool, NSW and Cranbourne, VIC.

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