Growth In Online Sales Is Slowing In Australia But Still Walks All Over Bricks And Mortar Stores

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Online sales growth is slowing but is still getting bigger at a faster rate than physical stores.

According to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index, online retail was 0.7% higher in August compared to July.

This is 8.3% higher compared to a year ago but is slower than the 12 months to July (9%).

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows sales growth at traditional retailers 0.3% higher in July than June, and 5.7% higher than a year ago.

While growth in online sales continues to outpace traditional retail, its growth rate has been slowing gradually.

In the first 12 months of the index, ending January 2011, growth was up 31.8% for the year, significantly higher than recent numbers. The comparable number for January 2014 was 12.8%.

The NAB estimates estimates Australians spent $15.7 billion on online retail in the 12 months to August 2014.

This is equivalent to 6.6% of spending at traditional bricks and mortar retailers as measured by the ABS (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food, to create a like-for-like comparison) in the 12 months to July 2014.

Online sales growth expanded in almost all categories in August compared to a year ago.

Key growth areas included Electronic Games and Toys (20%), and Homewares and Appliances (15.5%).

More moderate growth was seen in Groceries and Liquor (9.2%), Fashion (6.6%) and Media (4.8%). After growth over the past two months, Daily Deals again contracted (-4.7%), along with Personal and Recreational goods (-1.5%).