Sets new record.

More Australians are shopping online than ever with total purchases topping $21 billion for the first time, according to new research from Australia Post.

The company’s annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report showed that Australians spent $21.3 billion last year – an 18.7% increase compared with 2016. Local retailers accounted for more than 80% of the total spend.

Australia Post general manager for parcels & express services, Ben Franzi, said Australians shopped online to access greater value, choice and convenience, and a clear example of this was the rise of online market places.

“Marketplaces – such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy – are booming, growing 74.8% in the past year alone. Australians really appreciate the convenience of being able to access goods from a variety of sellers in the one location,” he said.

Franzi said marketplaces – such as Alibaba’s Tmall Global and – were also helping Australian retailers access the lucrative international market, the total online spend of which has increased 46.7% to $US1.57 trillion ($A2.08 trillion) in the past two years.

“Marketplaces make it easier for consumers in our key export markets – China, United States, and India – find Australian products and offer a more convenient way for local businesses to start selling overseas.

“By 2019, total online goods purchases from across the globe is set to reach $US2.16 trillion ($A2.86 trillion), so this market represents a huge opportunity for Australian retailers.”

Domestically, fashion continues to be the top selling category, increasing 27.2%  in the past year. Health and beauty products are also popular, growing 13.2%, while homewares and appliances recorded 10.9% growth.

Point Cook in Victoria remained Australia’s number one online buying location in 2017, recording 22.6% growth. Toowoomba was the second biggest buying location, growing at 19.5%, while Liverpool was the third biggest, growing 21.1%.