Online Retail Sales Index monthly update – December 2014

Online retail experienced a modest growth in December, with sales growing 0.1% compared to November (-0.3%), and 8.9% higher compared to a year ago. In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $16.4 billion on online retail in the 12 months to December 2014.

By

Online sales return to growth in December after a contraction in November.

  • Online retail experienced a modest growth in December, with sales growing 0.1% compared to November (-0.3%), and 8.9% higher compared to a year ago. The monthly growth rate is still considerably slower than much of the series history.
  • ABS data showed growth at comparable traditional retailers in November to be 0.7% higher than October, and 3.9% higher than a year ago.
  • With these results, November traditional retail sales have outpaced growth in online sales for that month.
  • In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $16.4 billion on online retail in the 12 months to December 2014. This level is equivalent to 6.8% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food, to create a like-for-like comparison) in the 12 months to November 2014.
  • In year on year terms to December, all categories except of Daily Deals recorded growth. Groceries and Liquor (19%) saw the highest year on year growth, followed by Electronic Games and Toys (14%), though growth for the latter is down from the circa 40% over past two months. Homewares and Appliances (10%) rebounded sharply from a contraction in November. Other key growth areas included Department and Variety stores (8%), Fashion (8%) and Media (7%), while Personal and Recreational goods grew at a more modest rate (2%). Daily Deals continued to contract (-11%).

For further details please see the attached document.