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Australians To Spend $13.6 Billion Online

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Tuesday July 26, 2011 )

According to new research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Frost & Sullivan, Australians will spend more than $13.6 billion online this year and an increasing amount of online purchases will be made outside our own shores.

Australia has a relatively small population – around 23 million. So that $13.6 billion works out to be around $590 for every man, woman and child in this country. We’ve come a long way from the days when I’d get funny looks when I started rabbiting on about how the web would change business in this country – which was only 13 years ago.

This year’s projected online spend represents an increase of 13% on last year’s $12 billion and online shopping is expected to grow at least twice as fast in comparison to the total retail market in Australia over the next four years; reaching a whopping $21.7 billion by 2015.

I’ve mentioned in the past some of our bricks and mortar retailers are really feeling the pinch from the shift in buying habits to ecommerce transactions outside our shores. It’s been amplified in recent times due to our extremely strong dollar that makes it very worthwhile for Aussie shoppers to purchase from online merchants based overseas.

Offshore merchants have also made great strides in delivery, which has boosted confidence. I’ve had some items ordered from the USA arrive on my doorstep within a week and I’ve usually found buying gear from overseas a comparable or better experience than buying locally.

PWC estimates that $6.0 billion will be spent by Australians on overseas websites this year; equating to 44% of the total online purchases for 2011, an increase of 25% from 2010.

Overall, while the average Australian worries about the impact this will have on jobs, most of the comments I see tend to blame the retailers here – that they brought this upon themselves through price gouging and shifting manufacturing of goods overseas without passing on the savings to the consumer. Australian shoppers are simply avoiding the middleman.

You can read more of PWC’s Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping Market Insights here (PDF).


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