NAB Online Retail Sales Index: in depth report – March 2016

Australian consumers spent an estimated $19.3 billion online in the past year, primarily on homewares, groceries, media and fashion. According to National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index in-depth report, online spending increased 12.4% over the last year.

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Online retail sales increases 12.4% to $19.3 billion in March

Australian consumers spent an estimated $19.3 billion online in the past year, primarily on homewares, groceries, media and fashion. According to National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index in-depth report, online spending increased 12.4% over the last year.

“While the online retail sector is still smaller, in comparison to traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers online sales have grown at nearly double the pace over the past year,” NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said. Mr Oster also said that domestic retailers continued to show strength against international counterparts, accounting for about 81% of spending in March.

“Depreciation of the Australian dollar since 2013 has helped support increased sales by domestic online retailers, with growth particularly buoyant in homewares and appliances, electronic games and toys, and fashion,” Mr Oster said. The March report shows:

  • By sector: Appetite for takeaway food has skyrocketed with growth of 45% over the past 12 months, reflecting the changing way that Australians order takeaway meals. Media contributed significantly to annual sales growth – accounting for a quarter of all growth through the year, while homewares and appliances continued to be the largest area of spend.
  • By age: While growth accelerated in March for all categories, consumers aged 35 to 44 continued to dominate the share of spending, accounting for nearly a quarter of all online spending despite making up 17% of the adult population.
  • By state: Over the past year, the contribution to growth in online spending has shifted back towards the eastern states. Around 76% of total online spending in the past year was made by residents in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. However, on a per capital basis the ACT outpaced all other states and territories.

This month, NAB has also commenced a new series to provide insight on the contributions of smaller online retailers – defined as businesses with revenue of less than $2.5 million.

Smaller online retailers contributed 37% of all online sales in the past year, recording growth of 10.6%. However, recent monthly data shows that in trend terms, after a period of higher than average growth, small online retail spending is now starting to slow.

For full analysis, download report:

About the NAB Online Retail Sales Index

Based on two million non-cash transactions per day, scaled up to replicate the broad economy, the NAB Online Retail Sales Index tracks online retail spending across sectors, demographics, locations and the breakdown of goods bought from domestic and international online retailers. The index is produced monthly and analysis is provided on a quarterly basis.

About Quantium

Quantium is Australia’s leading data analytics and marketing strategy firm. Quantium has worked with NAB for more than six years, assessing de-identified transaction data to derive insights, trends and shopping habits of different customer groups. The resulting analysis forms Market Blueprint and is used by NAB and other businesses to drive innovation and business performance through customer, distribution and marketing strategies.

NAB Online Retail Sales Index March 2016_Longform infographic.pdf