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Online sales top $20 billion: NAB

Australians spent an estimated $20.1 billion online in the last 12 months, according to data from NAB.

National Australia Bank’s latest Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) shows online spending grew by 13.5 per cent in the 12 months to June 2016.

“The $20.1 billion spent by Australians in the last year is equivalent to 6.8 per cent of spending in the bricks and mortar’ retail sector – with growth by online businesses far outpacing these traditional retailers,” said Alan Oster, NAB group chief economist.

“The share of total online spending is dominated by homewares and appliances, groceries and fashion – with media contributing the most in the past year.

“Takeaway food continues to have the fastest annual online sales growth, growing 56 per cent in the past year. It shows the rapidly changing behaviours of consumers in the way they’re ordering takeaway as apps and new services enter the market.”

Each quarter NAB produces a ‘deep-dive’ report into the Online Retail Sales Index, breaking down online spending into measures including domestic/international performance; age; state; regional/metro performance and size of business.

Key findings for this quarter’s report include:

  • SME online retailers: A series first introduced in the March quarter, spending by small online retail sales is estimated to be 22.2 per cent higher than compared to a year ago. Smaller online retailers – with revenue of less than $2.5 million – made up about 37 per cent of all online retail sales in the past 12 months.
  • Domestic vs international performance: Year-on-year, domestic online sales continue to outpace international sales at 16.9 per cent vs 0.9 per cent respectively. While there has been a slight appreciation in the Australian dollar in recent months, the dollar’s continued downward trend has resulted in the domestic share of spend continuing to grow. Domestic retailers were particularly buoyant in homewares and appliances, personal and recreational goods and groceries.
  • By age of consumers: Online spending remains dominated consumers aged 35 to 44, who spent mostly on groceries and liquor (20.5 per cent) and homewares and appliances (19.2 per cent). 18-24 year olds spent predominantly on fashion (22 per cent) and media (19.9 per cent).
  • By state: Spending growth shifted from WA back to the eastern states; around 76 per cent of total online spending in the past year was made by residents from NSW, Victoria and Queensland. On a per capita basis however, residents in the ACT, NT, WA and ACT spent more than the national average.
  • Metropolitan vs regional performance: Spending growth in regional areas strengthened in June. People living in regional WA spent about 11 per cent more than the average Australian.The full report is available here.
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