February 4, 2016

Online Retail Sales Index Monthly Update: December 2015

Online sales rose 1.8 per cent in December 2015.

Online sales rose 1.8 per cent in December 2015

  •  The online retail series has been improved and now includes food. We also have better estimates of size with improvements to the identification of smaller online retail players. The data history has consequently been revised. Our new estimate of the online retail market in Australia is $19.1 billion in the 12 months to December 2015, up from the previously published November estimate of $18.1 billion.
  • At 1.8% online retail sales recorded reasonably strong growth in December, higher than the revised 1.2% recorded in November. In trend terms, at 0.6%, the revised estimate for online retail sales was almost unchanged on November (0.7%). We estimate that online sales are now 11.2% higher compared to a year ago.
  • ABS data showed growth of comparable traditional retailers in November to be 0.4% (mom, s.a.) higher than October, and 3.8% higher than a year ago.
  • In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $19.1 billion on online retail. This level is equivalent to 6.6% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to November 2015.
  • By Category, in month on month terms, all categories except Electronic Games and Toys (-0.5% mom, s.a.) recorded growth in December. Highest growth was in the Daily Deals category (4.3% mom, s.a) (though this is small share of spend, and follows a much weaker November). Next highest in the month was Groceries and liquor (4.2% mom s.a.), and Department & Variety stores (2.1% mom s.a.), and Fashion (1.8% mom s.a.). The new category of online orders of Takeaway food, at 1.48% (mom s.a) was next, followed by both Media, and Homewares and Appliances (1.1% mom s.a.). Sub 1% growth was recorded in Personal and Recreational (0.8% mom, s.a.).
  • In year on year terms, the strongest growth categories were Food (42.4%), Toys (30.8%), and Media (21.9%) with the weakest Daily Deals (-7%), Department stores (2.5%), and Homewares and Appliances (5.2%).

For further details please see the attached document.


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