Australian online spending is surging

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While unemployment may be elevated and the AUD lower, it seems Australians, for the moment, are continuing to spend up big on the internet.

According to the latest NAB online retail sales index total sales rose by 9.6% to $16.9 billion in the year to April 2015. That figure represents approximately 7% of total retail sales, up from 6.6% a year earlier.

Here’s NAB’s chief economist Alan Oster on the findings of the April report.

“Comparable year growth in traditional bricks & mortar retail (up 5.3% in March) was still outpaced by the improvement in online retail (8.2%). That said, recent online growth has been more subdued than the 20-30% year-on-year growth rates recorded in earlier years. In April the seasonally adjusted month-on-month change was 1.5%. At 0.6%, the trend estimate for online retail sales is unchanged relative to March and February.

Domestic retailers controlled 75.5% of total online spending as of April 2015, relatively unchanged on the previous 3 months. Growth in both international and domestic online retail sales accelerated in April, though domestic online continues to outpace international in year-on-year terms.”

Here’s some of the key findings to come from the NAB report.

Those aged between 35-44 spent the most online while 25-34-year-olds recorded the fastest growth in spending.

“Although those aged 35-44 make up approximately 17.4% of the adult population, their share of online spend is the highest at 24.3%. In contrast, those aged 65 and over have a disproportionately lower share of spend (8.6%) relative to their share of population (18.6%).

There were mixed results in April, with monthly growth accelerating for those aged 18-24 (1.3%), 25-34 (3.6%) and 45-54 (1.6%). Those aged 35-44 (0.7%), 55-64 (0.5%) and over 65s (0.1%) slowed from the previous month. Though representing the lowest for share of spend, the over 65s have had the second highest year-on-year growth”.

Department and variety store sales still dominate, accounting for nearly a third of total spending.

“Department and variety stores continue to dominate the online retail sector, having 33.2% of total online spending. The second largest category, homeware and appliances, had a 16.8% share of spend, followed by groceries and liquor (15.3%), media (12.4%), fashion (11.4%), personal and recreational goods (5.5%), electronic games and toys (2.7%), and daily deals (2.7%).”

Those in the ACT spend the most per capita online.

“However, on a per capita basis, residents in ACT, NT, WA and NSW spent more than the national average. In the ACT, where only 1.6% of Australians live, 2.0% of total online purchases in dollar value terms were made. Similarly, in WA, 11% of Australians made 11.9% of total online purchases”.

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