In bad news for bricks and mortar retailers, Australians are continuing to shop more and more online, with $5.52 billion spent online in the December quarter, according to new figures from online payments provider eWAY.
Over the Christmas period alone $3.92 billion was spent, up 28 per cent on the previous year.
eWAY chief executive Matt Bullock said the average purchase cost of online goods had also jumped by 4 per cent.
“This growth isn’t necessarily because consumers are spending more. They’re mainly diverting a larger percentage of their Christmas budget to online channels,” he said.
“An interesting trend with Boxing Day sales is emerging, with eWAY recording relatively average sales in the few days post Christmas the past two years. The first week of January appears to be the new key window, with sales volumes surging during the first week of the year.”
The average transaction cost in the December quarter was $167, according to eWAY.
The top three categories for online shopping were electronic goods, travel and household appliances.
But as usual Christmas shopping was left until the last minute, with eWAY, which powers online payments for 23,000 online shops, reporting a huge increase in sales on December 21.
More and more international shoppers are also starting to buy from Australian stores, with the value of international sales lifting 61.3 per cent year-on-year.
“The weaker Australian Dollar has contributed to this trend in the past 12 months, but it’s also recently become easier for businesses to sell, market and ship to other regions,” Mr Bullock said.
“The market is really opening up for Aussie businesses.”