For the year to April 2013, Australians spent $13.5 billion online, equivalent to around 6 percent of traditional retail spending, according to the monthly NAB Online Retail Sales Index.
Trends in the growth rates for both international and domestic online retail sales have been fairly uniform since the start of 2012, indicating that there might be finite proportion of consumers willing to go to the added risk and wait of ordering from offshore online sources.
Domestic online retailers – who are defined as those that are Australian for tax purposes – remain the dominant force in online retail sales, accounting for 72 percent of sales in April – slightly below the average level for the past year.
Online sales have continued to grow at a much stronger rate than the traditional bricks and mortar retail sector – up to 23 percent from April 2012 to April 2013. This is in line with levels of growth since late 2011. By comparison, traditional retail is growing at something between 2.5 – 3 percent.
Gen Y the Big Spenders
Peak per capita spenders are aged between 35 and 44, accounting for accounting for almost one quarter of total spend.
Those aged 25 to 34 and aged 45 to 54 each spend around 20 percent of the total. The lowest share of spending is among those aged under 25 and those aged over 65, with these age groups lagging significantly on a per capita basis. In the case of younger consumers, this likely reflects their lack of spending power.
Trends for per capita spending by state were largely unchanged in the year to April 2013. The strongest spending levels remain in the ACT and Northern Territory, along with Western Australia. South Australia, Victoria and Queensland continue to lag, and are well below average.
Overall there was a marginal decrease in the per capita share of spending for metropolitan residents. Growth rates between metropolitan and regional have converged in recent months – with regional growth generally having outperformed metropolitan over the past two years.