March 3, 2017

NAB Online Retail Sales Index: January 2017

Online sales slightly faster over the year, contracts in the month

Key points

  • The NAB Online Retail Sales Index contracted -0.5% (mom, s.a.) in January, much slower than the revised previous month (0.5%,mom, s.a.). Year on year growth accelerated from 11.1% in December to 11.7% in January. The revised trend estimate for online retail sales continues to slow, currently at 0.5%, down from 0.6% last month.
  • ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted grew 0.5% in December, with year on year growth of 3.7%.
  • We estimate that Australian consumers have spent around $21.83 billion over the last 12 months to January 2017. This is equivalent to 7.2% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to December 2016.
  • The January year on year result was partly due to an improvement in slowing in two larger spend share categories – Homeware and Appliances (17.8% yoy Jan vs 15.6% yoy Dec), and Groceries and Liquor (6.1% yoy vs 3.3% yoy), along with smaller spend share categories of Personal and Recreational Goods (13.8% yoy vs 12.3% yoy) and Department Stores (4.6% yoy vs 1.4% yoy).
  • Categories to slow include larger spend share categories of Media (16.1% yoy vs 20.5% yoy) and Fashion (7.1% yoy vs 7.3% yoy), and smaller share categories of Food Catering (25.3% vs 34.9% yoy), and Daily Deals (3.5% yoy vs 6.2% yoy). Games and Toys remained weak despite improving in January (-0.9% yoy vs -2.2% yoy).
  • SME sales represents just over a third of all online sales. In the month, SME sales rebounded (+0.9%,mom s.a.) after a weak December result (-1.1%). Year on year growth for SMEs (19.7%) was also considerably stronger than Corporates (11.7%).


For further details, please see the attached document.