Online Retail Sales Index monthly update – August 2013

In the year to August 2013, Australians spent $14.2 bn on online retail. This level is equivalent to 6.3% of spending with traditional bricks & mortar retailer (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food to create a like-for-like comparison) in the year to July 2013.

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Growth rates for online sales slowed in August – with trends mixed by category (weaker in Daily Deals & Fashion). Online spending up to $14.2 billion in past year.

  • In the year to August 2013, Australians spent $14.2 billion on online retail. This level is equivalent to 6.3% of spending with traditional bricks & mortar retailer (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food to create a like-for-like comparison) in the year to July 2013.
  • The NAB Online Retail Sales Index dipped in August – down to a seasonally adjusted 224 points (from 232 points in July).
  • Growth rates for online retail sales slowed in August. In monthly terms, seasonally adjusted online sales contracted, however when a three month moving average trend is applied (to smooth out the volatility in monthly rates), month-on-month growth fell to -0.1% (from +2.1% in July) – counter to the acceleration in growth seen in the past two months.
  • Sales growth for traditional bricks & mortar retail has also remained weak – increasing by just +0.1% in July (on a seasonally adjusted, three month moving average basis).
  • The softening growth trend for online retail sales reflects mixed conditions at the category level. In year-on-year terms, the rate of growth was down to +9.6% – the slowest rate of growth observed in the index – however the rates of growth were particularly weak in Daily Deals and Fashion (which contracted year-on-year) and muted in Personal & Recreational Goods, Homewares & Appliances and Toys & Electronic Games.

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