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Aussie Online Retail Soars

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday August 31, 2012 )

We can be a little slow to catch on in the land down under, but when we do; we make up for lost time.

The National Australia Bank’s Online Retail Sale Index shows online retail spending for the year ended June 2012 hit $11.7 billion. That works out to about $478 for every man, woman and child in Australia.

While domestic sales growth increased by 24% year-on-year, international sales have really shot ahead – growing by 29% year on year. The share of domestic sales has was down to 72 per cent in July 2012, the lowest level since October 2010

This is partly due to Aussies becoming increasingly aux fait with the web and our (currently) very strong dollar.

I remember back around 2001, 56c US cents would get you 1 AU buck. It’s been hovering between 103 and 105 US cents for some time and Australians have cottoned on to the fact we can often buy items far cheaper from overseas merchants than locally – even with freight thrown in. Not only that, but delivery can be quite rapid too. I remember ordering something from China recently that arrived faster than standard post from some Australian capital cities.

48% of the money Australians are spending online is going to auctions, department stores, fashion, cosmetics and variety Stores. It’s interesting to note Aussies in their 30s and 40s are the biggest online spenders, but the under 30s are catching up.

So much has changed – and so quickly.

Back when I started working the web, some people would look at the email address on my business card and ask what it was – and that was only 13 or so years ago.

Australians were generally so befuddled by the the Interwebs, I had to go and (virtually) work in the USA to hone my skills. All that has changed and most of my time is focused on Australian-centric activities online these days.

The National Australia Bank’s Online Retail Sale Index is a fascinating read and can be viewed here (PDF)


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