NAB Online Retail Sales Index, Monthly Update – August 2018

Online sales growth slower over the month and year

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  • NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) in August (+0.7% mom s.a.) slowed relative to July (1.1 %). 12 months to growth also slowed in August, with sales up 16.3% compared to July (18.3%). Trend on line retail sales also slowed.
  • ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted sales were flat (0.0%) in July, substantially outpaced by NORSI in that month.
  • Our revised estimate puts Australian on line spend at around $27.8 billion over the 12 months to August 2018. This is equivalent to 8.8% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to July 2018.
  • Generally moderate slowing for six of nine categories in August, with only three categories accelerating in 12-months to growth terms. Fastest 12-months-to growth was recorded by games and toys stores, whose sales accelerated (44.8% August vs 36.9% 12 months to July) along with second fastest grocery and liquor (22% vs 20.5%) and food catering (12.1% vs 7.6%). Media was third fastest in 12 months to terms, albeit slowing (18.5 vs 19. 7), and the smallest spend share, daily deals, was fourth (15.5%). The largest sales category, homewares and appliances also slowed (14% vs 17%), along with fashion (13.7% vs 18.7%), department stores (10.8 vs 18.1 %) and personal and recreational (9.4% vs 15.5%).
  • SME merchants represent over 36% of all on line sales. Seasonally adjusted SME sales slowed more rapidly in August (0.2%, mom s.a.), relative to large on line retailers.

For further details, please see the NAB Online Retail Sales Index – AUG 2018