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Online shoppers fuel local retail growth

Online shopping sales grew 11.5 per cent in 2016, compared with 2015, Australia Posts’s second annual Inside Australian Online Shopping report has found.

The report draws on all of Australia Post and StarTrack’s customer and delivery data to provide an overview of e-commerce and identify who is buying what and where online.

The latest report, released yesterday, shows that Australian retailers accounted for 79 per cent of total online spend in 2016.

Two categories – fashion and department/variety store items – made up more than half of all online sales. Other popular items included personalised goods, which grew 28.2 per cent.

“Price, range and convenience are the three main reasons why consumers shop online, and why growth rates remain strong,” said Ben Franzi, Australia Post’s general manager of e-commerce and international.

Franzi explained that online shopping allows Australians to shop at a time – and place – that works for them.

“Almost one third of all online purchases were made from 7pm-10pm, while 18 per cent were made from 2pm-5pm. Australians are increasingly using their smartphones to shop online, with purchases made from a mobile device growing 52 per cent,” he said.

Franzi also pointed to growth in personalised retail, with more online retailers offering shoppers the ability to co-design and add their own personal brand to products such as watches, handbags and other accessories.

Point Cook in Victoria was the top buying location for the second consecutive year, reporting 13.2 per cent growth, followed by Toowoomba in Queensland (7.6 per cent growth) and Liverpool in NSW (15 per cent growth).

Together, Australia Post and StarTrack deliver more than four billion items to 11.6 million addresses across the country annually.

Franzi said the data provided critical information for businesses looking to get ahead in a tough retail market.

“Here in Australia we know the online shopping industry is about to be disrupted, and retail as we know it won’t ever look the same,” he said.

“The Inside Australian Online Shopping Report is a powerful tool to help businesses understand their existing and potential customers better, so they can create targeted offers and grow their sales by giving consumers what they want based on facts and data.”

Top 10 online shopping buying locations and % growth

Point Cook, +13.2%
Toowoomba, +7.6%
Liverpool, +15%
Gosford +12.8%
Cranbourne, +17.6%
Hoppers Crossing, +16.8%
Mackay, +1.7%
Mandurah, +4.8%
Baulkham Hills, +21.1%
Campbelltown, +13.7%

*2016 calendar year compared with 2015 calendar year.

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