Online Retail Sales Index monthly update – November 2012

Online Retail Sales Index surges ahead of Christmas, but year-on-year growth only edged higher to 27%. In the twelve months to November 2012, Australians spent around $12.6 billion on online retail. This level is equivalent to 5.7% of the scale of traditional bricks & mortar retail

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Online Retail Sales Index surges ahead of Christmas, but year-on-year growth only edged higher to 27%.

  • In the twelve months to November 2012, Australians spent around $12.6 billion on online retail. This level is equivalent to 5.7% of the scale of traditional bricks & mortar retail (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food) for the year to October 2012.
  • The NAB Online Retail Sales Index surged in November – rising to 241 points (compared with 209 points in October). However it is important to note that November is the peak month for online retail sales – with consumers allowing adequate time for delivery of their purchases prior to Christmas.
  • This seasonality is evident in the growth rate of the index, with online sales rising by +27% in November, only marginally stronger than the growth rate recorded in October (+26%). The rate of growth in November 2012 was stronger than the level a year earlier, with growth of +20% recorded in November 2011.
  • Growth in online sales has consistently outperformed that of the traditional bricks & mortar sector. In October, traditional sales increased by +2.6% year-on-year (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). When seasonal factors are included, growth rates for traditional retail edged higher, to +2.8%.

In the two previous years, there has been a notable decline in online sales in December, due to the delivery time required prior to Christmas. As the online market matures, it will be interesting to observe whether consumers have greater confidence to make online purchases later in the month in 2012.

For further analysis download the full report.