July 3, 2018

NAB Online Retail Sales Index: May 2018

NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) slowed slightly in May (+1.2% mom s.a.) from stronger growth in April (1.6%). 12 months to growth was also slower in May, with sales up 17.2% compared to April’s 12 month to growth of 18.4%. While slowing, trend online retail sales is still much stronger compared to the same period a year ago.

  • ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted sales grew 0.4% in April, substantially outpaced by NORSI in that month.
  • We estimate that Australian consumers have spent around $26.08 billion over the 12 months to May 2018. This is equivalent to 8.3% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to April 2018.
  • Generally moderate slowing for six of nine categories in May, but all maintain double digit 12-months to growth. Fastest 12-months-to growth was recorded by Games and Toys stores, whose sales accelerated (29.5% May vs 26.6% 12 months to April). Department stores (23.5%) recorded the 2nd fastest growth, but slowed from April (25.6%). The much larger sales category, Media (21.8% vs 24.2%), was 3rd fastest in 12 months to terms, but also slowed, along with Grocery and Liquor (20.8% vs 21.3%). The recent resurgence in Fashion continues, with growth accelerating again (16.5%vs 15.4%). Personal and Recreational (11.9% vs 13.1%) slowed, along with the largest spend category Homewares and Appliances (11.8% vs 13.4%), and smallest category Daily Deals (11.6% vs 20.6%). While Food Catering had a marginal increase in growth (10.7% vs 10.5%), it was the slowest category in May.
  • SME merchants represent over 36% of all online sales. Seasonally adjusted SME sales jumped in May (3.9%, mom s.a.), outpacing large online retailers.

For further details, please see the attached document: