2015 Set to be Record Year for Online Retail

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Online payment gateway, eWAY, has released its Q3 2015 Online Retail Report, and all signs point to a banner year for Australian e-commerce.

Australians spent $4.98 billion online from July to September this year—a 15.2 percent increase compared with the same quarter last year.

Online retail sales for this year to quarter end are $14.3 billion, with yearly totals tipped to pass the 2014 record of $16.6 billion.

Transaction volumes over Q3 were up on the previous quarter, which had already shown massive growth, associated with the Federal Government’s $20,000 small business tax incentive.

“This has been a great quarter for online businesses. While online sales boomed in June just after the government’s small business cash injection, making it a record quarter, the sector continued to grow from July to September,” eWAY’s Founder and CEO, Matt Bullock.

In a shift from last quarter, Sydney overtook Melbourne as the online shopping capital, spending double the amount per transaction as Melbourne shoppers. Sydneysiders spent a massive $283 on average per transaction during Q3, while the national average was $162. Melbourne’s CBD was the second-highest ranking suburb with an average of $101 per transaction. While Melbourne made triple the number of transactions compared with Sydney, Sydneysiders spent 5.7 percent more in total.

Regionally, residents in Morningside ($2.67 million) and Toowoomba ($2.2 million) in Queensland were at the top by total spend, while Wentworth ($2.34 million) and Blacktown ($1.99 million) in New South Wales jumped considerably to make it into the top 20 regional centres for total online spend.

Online sales to international destinations increased by 26.4 percent over the same quarter last year, as the value of the Australian dollar continues to decline, making Australian goods and services cheaper for international shoppers.

“With a low Australian dollar during this quarter, physical purchases sent to international postcodes were up 26.4 per cent, showing a clear opportunity for local businesses to start accepting other currencies such as US dollars on their websites,” said Bullock.

In terms of online sales to international destinations (measured by credit card transaction), eWay broke down the top six credit card nationalities for Australian online purchases. Unsurprisingly, New Zealand dominated the rankings, commanding 33.3 percent of sales to international destinations. The United States came in a distant second with 12.9 percent, followed by the United Kingdom with 7.9 percent. Singapore, China (both 2.7 percent), and Canada (2.6 percent) round out the top six.

“Online retail still has significant growth potential in Australia. All signs are indicating 2015 is going to be a record year for Australian eCommerce, and hopefully good news for Aussie small businesses,” said Bullock.