Online Retail Sales Index monthly update – March 2015

The latest NAB online retail sales index shows sales experienced growth of 0.8% in March, seasonally adjusted. At 0.3%, the trend estimate for Online retail sales slowed relative to February, but remained positive. We estimate that online sales are now 8.0% higher compared to a year ago.

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Online sales rise 0.8 per cent in March 2015

  • The latest nab online retail sales index shows sales experienced growth of 0.8% in March, seasonally adjusted. At 0.3%, the trend estimate for Online retail sales slowed relative to February, but remained positive. We estimate that online sales are now 8.0% higher compared to a year ago.
  • ABS data showed growth of comparable traditional retailers (ex. Cafes and Restaurants) in February to be 0.9% (mom, s.a.) higher than January, and 4.3% higher than a year ago.
  • Based on online sales growth of 0.8% in March, it is likely that traditional retail sales will record lower monthly and yearly growth rates in March.
  • In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $16.8 billion on online retail in the 12 months to March 2015. This level is equivalent to 6.9% 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 February 2015.
  • All categories except Daily Deals recorded growth in March, with growth in Personal and Recreational goods accelerating. Electronic Games and Toys, experienced a significant decline in growth (8.2% yoy March vs 21.6% yoy February) though this segment is a relatively small share of spend and its growth rate is typically more volatile than other categories. For other categories, though slowing in year on year terms, Media and Homeware have maintained double digit growth, followed by high single growth estimates for Grocery and Liquor, and Department stores. Online fashion is much more subdued with a low single digit estimate for March.

For further details please see the attached document.