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Online shopping insights from StarTrack

Ben Franzi, GM e-commerce platforms, and marketplaces at Australia Post presented at this year’s Internet Conference at the Gold Coast.

Franzi presented some insightful data gleaned from the volumes of information tracked within his organisation*. There are some pieces of information that seem to make perfect logical sense and others that seem counter intuitive. For example, the postcode with the highest amount of purchasing in the fashion sector is Surry Hills, NSW. Not surprising as its close to the Sydney CBD and is densely populated with an upwardly mobile population. Surprisingly Point Cook near Melbourne is the highest all-time destination for online shopping in general. This is fascinating and shows a trend towards higher online sales in bigger regional centres that still lack the bricks and mortar retail choices. Fashion, health and beauty, homewares and appliances and food and liquor still show strong growth online, cart values are increasing but the number of actual parcels shipped has declined somewhat.

A summary of key statistics is shown below

  • Online retail growth 7.8 per cent each year and aggregate growth is 12 per cent.
  • Department stores receive 32 per cent of online sales.
  • Fashion is second 26 percent.
  • Books, CDs, DVD (Books  are still getting good growth) 14 per cent.
  • Regional shoppers buy three to four times more online.
  • Food and alcohol sales are very strong in regional locations because of less easy access to retailers.

Small market industries are getting good online growth

  • Fashion 26 per cent of market 16 per cent year-on-year  growth.
  • Health and beauty 6 percent of the market, 60 percent year-on-year growth.
  • Homewares and appliances 11 per cent of market 19.5 percent.
  • Food and liquor 9 per cent of market 9 per cent year-on-year growth.
  • People are spending more (average basket $120) but fewer parcels being shipped.
  • 70 percent of shopping is domestic and 30 percent is international shopping.


  • Top ten purchases are from regional hubs for example Hoppers Crossing, Gladstone, Mackay probably because access to retail choices is not as good, so online becomes a better option.
  • Toowoomba is the number 2 location in terms of purchases just behind Point Cook which is number one.
  • Surry Hills is the biggest location for fashion – singles to couples, high income, dense then Liverpool, Toowoomba and finally, Point Cook
  • Projected to see increase shopping from Green Valley, South Morang in Qld and Brunswick and Craigieburn in Victoria.

For further insights download StarTrack’s report on Australian Online Shopping for the 122-page report on Australian Online Shopping Industry Paper.

* Insights from the paper are based on a subset of Australia Post deliveries, undertaken between January 2014 and December 2015, across our Australia-wide network of 11.4 million delivery points, aggregated to 5,731 postcodes, as well as,  data on the broader online retail environment (including online retail goods spending, domestic and international trends), as provided to Australia Post by Quantium. The research was derived from the NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI), which is based on up to 2 million non-cash transactions per day, scaled up to replicate the broad economy.

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