February 21, 2017
Retail e-commerce in Australia grew 10.4 percent in December 2016 compared to the year before and reached AU$21.65 billion (US$16.63 billion)—more than 7 percent of total retail sales in the country, according to a recent report from National Australia Bank (NAB). While the growth of Australian online commerce has been decelerating, there are bright spots in several sectors and among different size retailers. Homewares (19.6 percent), media (17.2 percent), groceries (17 percent) and fashion (16 percent) are the product categories commanding the highest share of online spending in Australia. Takeaway food and media showed the fastest growth, with online sales increasing in December 2016 by 34 and 20.5 percent respectively compared to the same month in 2015.
Another bright spot for Australian e-commerce is the growth of small and midsize retailers (SMEs). Year-over-year sales for SMEs grew 18 percent in 2016 and they now account for 36 percent of all online retail sales in the country.
The report found cross-border sales suffered, perhaps from a depreciation in the Australian dollar. For the entire year, domestic online retail sales grew faster than international: “International sales contracted in [December by] 4.4 percent, the lowest result since August 2013 when the AUD fall-below-parity was in full swing.”