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Media Release

Online tech sales spike as buyers chase pre-Christmas bargains

Online tech sales spike pre-Christmas

Expect electronics, clothing and shoes in your Christmas stocking this year if the latest online sales data is anything to go by.

In the four days from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday this year, the dollar value of online sales of electronic equipment jumped 205 per cent compared with typical November daily averages.

Clothing and footwear were up 127 per cent and furniture sales online were up 77 per cent, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank data.

Over the past few years, pre-Christmas online transactions growth reached a peak in 2017, when it was up 13.4 per cent in volume and 18.5 per cent in dollar value.

The latest analysis shows consumers continue to spend more online in the lead-up to Christmas, but the speed of the growth has moderated.

What’s the trend?

Online retail spending grew in 2018 by 11.9 per cent year-on-year by dollar value.

The total number of online transactions also rose in the lead-up to Christmas by 4.9 per cent year-on-year, compared with 13.4 per cent in 2017 and 12.6 per cent year-on-year in 2016.

The average value of an individual online transaction has increased, with consumers spending on average $97 per online transaction compared with $87 in 2015, a 11.5 per cent increase over the period.

“In the lead-up to Christmas, we’ve seen consumers continuing to spend more online compared to the previous few years, while also looking for bargains,” Commonwealth Bank Managing Director Industrial Transport and Consumer Nick Fletcher said.

“This year, an increasing number of Australian retailers appear to be capitalising on this trend and using marketing events, such as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend sales, to capture sales.

“These early sales may show that shoppers have been more active earlier in the Christmas shopping period but no doubt there will still be the last minute retail rush,” Mr Fletcher said.

CBA online spending data:

The data is based on a sample of 2.4 million personal credit cards over Nov 1-26 for retail1 spend only. The date window used to calculate growth rates has been shifted to align days of week.

The year-on-year growth in online retail1 spending:

Year Transaction Value3 ($) Transaction Volume4 (#)
2016 13.1% 12.6%
2017 18.5% 13.4%
2018 11.9% 4.9%

The average online retail1 transaction value:

Year Avg Online Retail Transaction Value3 ($)
2015 $87
2016 $87
2017 $91
2018 $97

Looking at the entire weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Friday to Monday inclusive):

  • In 2018 we saw the highest dollar online sales uplift for electronics (up 205 per cent over the four days4), clothing and footwear was second (up 127 per cent) and furniture third (up 77 per cent).

Notes for editors:

The main components in our definition of Retail are Food (excl. restaurants), Household furnishings and equipment, Recreational goods, Clothing and footwear, General retail (department/variety/discount stores), Alcohol (excl. bars), and Miscellaneous goods. Payments to layby providers have been removed from the analysis.

Transaction value represents the total dollar amount for each online purchase.

Transaction volume represents the count of individual online purchases. Note: An online purchase may have multiple items.

Compared to typical day of week averages in the first three weeks of November. 


Produced by Commonwealth Bank based on information available at the time of publishing. The statistics presented in this release only take into account Commonwealth Bank Credit Card Data and therefore may not reflect all trends in the market. We believe that the information in this report is accurate and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of its compilation, but no representation or warranty is made as to accuracy, reliability or completeness. All customer data used or represented in this report is anonymous and aggregated before analysis and is used and disclosed in accordance with the Commonwealth Bank Group’s Privacy Policy Statement.