Online Retail Sales Index monthly update – December 2012

Online Retail Sales Index dipped in December (from Nov peak) – a seasonal trend around Christmas. Sales up 23% yoy, but slowing implying a ‘weaker online’ December. In 2012, Australia’s online retail spending was $12.8 billion. This level is around 5.8% of the size of Australia’s.

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Online Retail Sales Index dipped in December (from Nov peak) – a seasonal trend around Christmas. Sales up 23% yoy, but slowing implying a ‘weaker online’ December

  • In 2012, Australia’s online retail spending was $12.8 billion. This level is around 5.8% of the size of Australia’s traditional bricks & mortar retail sector (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food for a like-to-like comparison) for the twelve months to November 2012.
  • The NAB Online Retail Sales Index pulled back a little in December – down to 227 points (compared with 241 points previously). This was a seasonal move, with November being the peak month for online retail sales, which allows time for goods to be delivered ahead of Christmas.
  • The growth rate for online sales eased in December, with the index increasing by +23% year-on-year. This rate of growth is reasonably robust when compared with the past year, but is below the strong growth rates of October and November 2012 (at +26% and +27% respectively). To the extent that seasonal patterns are unchanged, this implies relatively weaker growth in online December spending this year vis-à-vis 2011.
  • The rate of growth for online sales continues to outperform the traditional bricks and mortar sector. In November, traditional sales increased by +3.3% year-on-year (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). Taking into account seasonal factors, growth rates for the bricks & mortar sector were lower, at just +2.5%.
  • This month, we’ve included a special deep dive intoAustralia’s online shopping habits in December. There is a stark difference between the share of spending (in dollar terms) and the number of transactions – with a large volume of transactions on comparatively low value items in Sector 3 (Recreation, Toys, Games & Hobbies, Music, Movies, Books).

For further analysis download the full report.