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Easter long weekend bigger than Black Friday: Aust Post

A new report from Australia Post underlines the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector in April, when many bricks-and-mortar stores and entertainment venues were closed due to strict social distancing rules intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.

According to the national carrier’s annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, over 200,000 new online shoppers entered the market in April, and a million more people overall shopped online every week when compared to the average in 2019.

The number of purchases was also up 6.8 per cent in the 30 days to April 30, 2020, compared to the 30 days to December 18, 2019, a period that includes Black Friday and the pre-Christmas rush.

The big surprise was that the Easter long weekend in April overtook last year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend as the busiest period in Australian online shopping history.

“Though we’ve seen early signs of normalisation through May, all areas of the industry are still up significantly when compared to 2019, suggesting that this new normal may be here to stay,” Ben Franzi, Australia Post’s GM of parcel and express services, said in a media release.

Australia Post now expects online to account for 15 per cent of retail sales, excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway, in 2020. This is up from 10 per cent just two years ago in 2018.

2019 in review

In 2019, Australians spent a total of $32 billion online, according to Quantium data, while the number of purchases increased 17.5 per cent year on year. In Victoria, the number of purchases increased 19.9 per cent year on year.

Fashion and apparel remained the most popular items purchased in 2019, but specialty food and liquor, entertainment and items for the home and office have all increased in popularity this year.

Point Cook in Melbourne’s west retained its position as the number one spot for online shopping for the fifth time. Seven of the top 10 suburbs by online recorded growth above the national average.

Top 10 locations for online shopping by volume in 2019

  1. Point Cook, VIC
  2. Cranbourne, VIC
  3. Toowoomba, QLD
  4. Liverpool, NSW
  5. Hoppers Crossing, VIC
  6. Mackay, QLD
  7. Rouse Hill, NSW
  8. Gosford, NSW
  9. Campbelltown, NSW
  10. Craigieburn, VIC
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