Online Shopping Sales in Australia Growing

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 28, 2012 4:12 PM EST

Click Frenzy may have been an event organisational disaster, but there is no denying that it magnified and somehow sealed the future of online selling in Australia.

On Tuesday, according to the National Australia Bank (NAB) Online Retail Sales Index, sales from online shopping jumped 26 per cent year-on-year to October, versus the 14 per cent registered year-on-year in May.

Although sales from online shopping still remain a low figure if overall total Australian spending was computed, still it is a force to reckon with because the growth rate of the medium is accelerating, Alan Oster, NAB chief economist, said.

NAB figures showed Australians fished from their wallets some $12.3 billion to splurge on online shopping in the year ended October 2012, representing 5.6 per cent of total retail spending during the period in review.

"We're seeing strong online growth from local retailers as online becomes an integral sales and distribution channel," Tiernan White, NAB Corporate for New South Wales head, said.

"In part, this can be attributed to retail businesses understanding their customers' channel preferences and responding accordingly by providing their customers with choice in how they engage and make their purchases."

The growing trend could jack up further this Christmas season as a survey done by the Commonwealth Bank revealed Australians would scour online Web sites for gifts to give to family, friends and colleagues. Of the 1,000 respondents, 30 per cent said they will do their shopping online.

Of the $12.3 billion online sales, most or 75 per cent were spent on products sold by Australian domestic department stores and local retailers.

 Mr Oster believes sales from online shopping will improve to 20 per cent of the retail market over the coming decade.

"This is not a mature market and we can expect annual growth of around 20 per cent over the next four to five years especially as domestic retailers start to fight back against the international players," he said.

"The pick-up in online sales in recent months - a rise of around 26 per cent in the past year - has largely been driven by domestic sales. And it is the local food and department stores that are driving it forward."

Mr White likewise believes the Click Frenzy hype, along with its meltdown and technological crash, is just the start of things for the Australian experience of Internet shopping.

"Generally the impression we're getting from retailers is that it didn't quite work on the day, but it's an emerging market and something they should persevere with," he told AAP.

Read more:

Australians on Tight Budget, Will Still Splurge for Christmas

Have a Merry, Not Fiery Christmas, Australia!

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