Online Retail Sales Index Monthly update – August 2012

Growth in online spending remains strong – relative to the past year – with spending increasing by around +22% year-on-year in August. This level is slightly softer than in July. In the year to August 2012, Australians spent a total of $11.9 billion in online retail sales. This figure is equivalent to 5.4% of traditional bricks & mortar retail spending (excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food) for the year ended July 2012.

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The NAB Online Retail Sales Index provides key insights into online spending in the retail goods space, capturing domestic and international trends, as well as regional and age demographic trends. It’s a unique tool based on up to 2 million non-cash transactions per day, scaled up to replicate the broader economy.

Robust growth remains for online sales in August – up +22% year-on-year

  • In the year to August 2012, Australians spent a total of $11.9 billion in online retail sales. This figure is equivalent to 5.4% of traditional bricks & mortar retail spending (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food) for the year ended July 2012.
  • The NAB Online Retail Sales Index moved higher to 210 points in August 2012, up from 200 points in July. Recent months have seen a lower level of volatility in month to month movements.
  • Growth in online spending remains strong – relative to the past year – with spending increasing by around +22% year-on-year in August. This level is slightly softer than in July
  • (+25%), but stronger than the period from March to June this year. Growth in August 2011 was marginally stronger, at +28% year-on-year.
  • Growth for online sales remains considerably stronger than traditional bricks & mortar retail.
  • Traditional sales slowed in July – down to +1.6% year-on-year (non-seasonally adjusted), compared with +4.9% in June. It should be noted that the slowdown was not particularly significant after seasonal adjustment (down from +4.6% to +3.8%).
  • The growth in online retail has influenced other sectors – most notably transport. According to a recent article around 70 per cent of parcels Australia Post delivers are generated by online transactions.

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