Australians Have Started Shopping Online Again

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Retail spending online has resumed in Australia after a subdued period.

The NAB Online Retail Sales Index estimates digital sales in Australia at $15.6 billion for the year to July 2014.

This represents annual growth of 8.6%, placing online at 6.6% of traditional retail spending. The share of domestic spending also continues to edge higher, now capturing around 75% of total online spending.

Despite a recent pick-up in the traditional bricks & mortar retail sector, it was still outpaced by the improvement in online retail growth over the past quarter.

The NAB says that while the rebound in online in recent months is encouraging, growth remains considerably more subdued than the 20-30% rates recorded in earlier years.

By category, the results are mixed. Sales growth in Groceries & Liquor continues to be strong, followed by Department & Variety Stores. Growth was highly volatile and fell significantly in Electronic Games & Toys, with sales influenced by major product releases. Media sales have been slowing but rebounded somewhat in July.

Online spending remains dominated by 35-44 year olds, but the uptake of online shopping by older Australians is increasing.

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