Online Retail Spending Hits $14bn – NAB Online Retail Sales Index

Online retail sales continue to reflect broader economic trends, according to the latest update from NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index.

The latest update from National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Online Retail Sales Index reveals that, despite a sluggish start to the year, Australian online spending has soared to $14.1 billion to July 2013 – 6.3 percent of total retail sales.

The figures, released today, reflect the overall mood of consolidation and acceleration for traditional retailers as a number of key categories led the charge.

NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster commented that following a flat start to the year, monthly growth rates had accelerated during the past three months, with a strong uptick in July sales.

“Department & Variety Stores, Groceries & Liquor and Media drove the growth over this period,” Mr Oster said.

In line with this trend, pureplay retailers are no longer commanding as great a position within the online landscape, accounting for 70 percent of total sales – a loss of three percentage points from 2010.

“This decline demonstrates that businesses are realising that having a multi-channel business model is important. Further, we believe the previous dominance in Pureplay retail may continue to slowly diminish,” said Tiernan White, NAB’s Retail Sector Head.

“When considering their approach businesses need to consider multiple issues, but most importantly the offering must complement their bricks and mortar offering and avoid the cannibalisation of their existing retail store,” White explained.

Although Western Australia continues to be a forerunner for per capita sales, a decelerating mining industry has potentially contributed to a broader deceleration in spending.

“The results for Western Australia appear to support broader economic commentary around the state and the slowing rate of growth,” Oster said.

Other Key Findings of the Report:

Spending by age group – Spending according to age group has remained relatively stable over the last twelve months, with 35-44 year olds maintaining the number one position for online spend, taking a quarter of all purchases. Meanwhile, 25-34 and 45-54 groups each spend around 20% of the total. Interestingly, those aged 65 and over have shown the strongest growth rates in the past three months, however this segment continues to contribute among the least significant share to online retail sales.

Domestic retailers have the lion’s share – Domestic retailers continue to be the dominant force in online retail sales, accounting for over 73% of sales. NAB finds that the ratio of domestic versus international sales has not shifted significantly throughout the period.

online retail sales index

This infographic breaks down the salient details of NAB’s quarterly Online Sales Index update.

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