Australians Are The Number One Online Shoppers in the World

Earlier this month, both Roy Morgan (Australia’s largest independent-research company) and Bigcommerce (a leading e-commerce platform provider) released reports highlighting the strength of Australia’s online retail segment.

Roy Morgan’s annual State of the Nation report highlighted that the number of Australians who shop online passed the 50 percent mark for the first time, while Bigcommerce found that Australians spend more on average per order than anyone else in the world.

The most popular online purchases were in leisure and travel, which made up 45 percent of online purchases, followed by fashion at 23.4 percent. The majority of these sales were with international online retailers who have been able to offer huge savings to Australian shoppers.

Australians now spend more, on average, per order than anyone else in the world, at $142 in 2013, up 20 percent from 2011. Internationally, the average order for online shoppers is $116 per order, up 21 percent from $95 in 2011 and 13.7 percent from $102 in 2012.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research, says“The Internet continues to transform Australians’ shopping habits; more people shop online, they spend more, they buy products across more categories, and they visit stores less often.”

The other significant finding was the growth in smartphone purchases. “Within just a few years, smartphones have added another layer of complexity to the scene. While over half of all Australians now own a smartphone, less than 7 percent of them bought online using the phone in the last four weeks—nevertheless, this is double the proportion a year ago.”

It also appears that local retailers are coming back. A growing portion of online sales is being attributed to fresh produce. Those who use it love it for the convenience. Melanie Ingrey, director of online market research at the Nielsen Company, says 14 percent of all those who are online are buying groceries.

Implications? With the fast pace of change, brand managers need to not only embrace and invest now in online shopping, but they need to understand, plan, and invest in understanding a shopper who is willing to embrace new retailers and forms of online shopping experiences.

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Contributed by Tim Ryder, Integer Australia.