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In the last couple of years online retail has been growing slowly in Australia, more recently this growth has slowed. There are a few reasons for this, one of them is to do with maturity especially with the pureplay online retailers where the growth has been realised for now.

Omni-channel retailers have been slow to get online and are now opening up their channels which bumped up the growth figures and is now tapering also.

Australia is lagging behind the US and UK in the market share of online retail and also in growth. In the US 7% of retail spend and 16% of growth is online, in Australia this number is 5.5% of spend. One potential reason for this is the demographic spread of people although this also presents an opportunity.

Books gaming and media will continue to see consistent growth. ‘Streaming’ media is an area we are expecting to see growth but that hasn’t really taken off yet.

Online share by category

The strongest performing categories are books, gaming and media with the electrical and appliance category also lending itself to the online space. Some of the major players in sport and camping have been very successful in their online launches, and department stores have also performed quite strongly compared with their omni-channel counterparts.

The entertainment and media category shows persistent growth with a 30% increase in 2013. 

Spending by state

We may associate online retail with a younger demographic but we have found that the key growth group is wealthy women in their 40s and their highest categories of spend are food and liquor and fashion. With the average online spend in Western Australia being the highest.


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