October 4, 2017

NAB Online Retail Sales Index: August 2017

Online sales accelerated over the year and month.


  • NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) accelerated in August (+1.7% mom s.a.). This rapid acceleration in the month is beyond the usual August seasonal pattern. Year-on-year growth was also stronger in August with sales up 10.3% compared to last year. While trend online retail sales (+0.7%) dipped slightly, it is still much stronger than February and March.
  • ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted sales flat in (0.0%) in July, hence  NORSI was much faster month-on-month.
  • We estimate that Australian consumers have spent around $23.28 billion over the 12 months to August 2017. This is equivalent to 7.5% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to July 2017.
  • Most categories accelerated in August (yoy), with Games and Toys (21.6% yoy August vs 11.9% yoy July), Food Catering (18% vs 13.1%), Media (17.7% vs 8.2%), Daily Deals (12.8% vs 6.5%), and Grocery and Liquor (9.3% vs 7.8%),  accelerating through the year. While the largest spend share category, Homeware and Appliances (11.7% vs 16.6%) still recorded double digit growth, it slowed, along with Personal and Recreational (1.4% vs 2.5%) and Fashion (0.6% vs 0.7%).
  • SME sales represents just over a third of all online sales. Seasonally adjusted SME sales saw strong growth in the month (2.6%,mom s.a.) after a couple of weak months prior.

For further details, please see the attached document.