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Australian online spend hits record $63.8 billion

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By Published On: March 22, 20230 Comments

According to the Australia Post's 2023 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, ecommerce is seeing record numbers.

Australia Post has released its 2023 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report analysing consumer’s spending habits over the past 12 months. In the past year, 82 percent of all Australian households have shopped online. Collectively, these 9.4 million Australian households spent $63.8 billion on online goods, making up 18 percent of all retail sales for the year. This was up 1.7 percent on the previous year.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcel, Post and eCommerce services Gary Starr said that while eCommerce had moderated with the opening of stores, the shift in the way we work, live and shop is here to stay.

“Aussies’ love affair with online shopping has not waned, even with restrictions removed. One million more households are now shopping online compared to 2019, and 5.6 million households made an online purchase every month during the past year.

“Australians are shopping online more often, with 37 percent shopping fortnightly compared to 20 percent pre-COVID. The growth trend in online was steady prior to COVID-19 but spiked during restrictions, now it’s showing a return to normal trend growth. By 2033, we expect around one in three dollars will be spent online,” Mr Starr said.

The category with the highest spend was home and garden, with an $18.7 billion spend across the country. Australia Post attributes a strong adoption of memberships, loyalty and subscription models across the category as being likely to have contributed to this consistency.

Reflecting the rising cost of living and ongoing rates increases,  food and liquor stores saw an 11.4 percent growth with a $13.4 billion spend, followed closely by variety stores at $11.6 billion with YoY growth of 8.6 percent, driven by department stores. Almost 79 percent of households that shopped online in Australia, or 7.5 million households purchased from Variety Stores.

Queensland saw the strongest YoY growth in number of online purchases than any other state at 11.1 percent, followed closely by West Australians 11.0 percent YoY growth.

“On average, 5.6 million households shopped online every month. We saw strength in outer rural and remote Australia, with online purchases in these areas increasing by 6.4 percent and 5.7 percent year-on-year respectively,” wrote Paul Graham, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australia Post. “While we’ve largely been able to put a trying few years behind us, new challenges are emerging and informing the spending habits of Australians. The triple-threat of interest rate increases, inflation and rising cost-of-living will continue to weigh on consumer spending and provide a new test for retailers.”

MST Marquee Lead Analyst, Craig Woolford said the online environment makes it easy to cross shop and compare to find the best price which can reduce customer loyalty.

“What good online retailers are doing is trying to entice their customers to stay with their platform. That could be via a subscription or other forms of rewards and points to create loyalty, consistency and in return repeat purchases,” Mr. Woolford said.”

The report predicts that by 2033, a third of all retail dollars will be spent online.

The e-commerce landscape is changing. With a Power Retail Switched On membership, you get access to current e-commerce revenue and forecasting, traffic levels, average conversion rate, payment preferences and more! 

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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