Australia’s online retail spending increased to $16.6 billion for the year to January 2015, up nine per cent year on year, with grocery and liquor accounting for 15 per cent of total online sales, according to National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index.
Online grocery sales rose 7.4 per cent year on year in January and recorded 0.3 per cent growth for the month.
NAB chief economist, Alan Oster, said the growth in online sales from 2014, while still strong compared to traditional brick and mortar retail, was not as high as past years.
“Comparable year growth in traditional bricks and mortar retail (up 4.7 per cent) was still outpaced by the improvement in online retail. That said, recent online growth has been more subdued than the 20-30 per cent year on year growth rates recorded in earlier years,” Oster said.
“As the sector matures, the data is revealing some changing dynamics. For example, in past years November was typically a stronger month, however, in 2014, online purchases were made later. In part, this may indicate how online retails are evolving to cater to consumer preferences,” Oster said.
While online groceries and liquor account for 15 per cent of total online spending, department stores still continue to dominate, having 33 per cent of total online spending.
The second largest category, homeware, and appliances, had a 17 per cent share of spend; followed by groceries and liquor; media, 12 per cent; fashion, 11 per cent; personal and recreational goods, five per cent; while daily deals and electroic games and toys both have the smallest share with three per cent each.
Domestic sales continue to dominate the Index, with 74.8 per cent of total online spending controlled by domestic retailers as of January 2015, however, this was down from 76 per cent in December.
Online sales now represent around seven per cent of total retail spend in Australia.