With the 2015-16 holiday spending period now well and truly over, it’s time to look back and see just how nuts shoppers went over the period. eWAY’s Online Retail Report explores retail’s boom period of November 16 to January 7 to provide stats and insights for Australia’s online holiday retail spending habits.
According to the report, Australians spent an estimated $3.3 billion online over this holiday period, up almost 28 percent over the same period last year. Average transaction volumes were also up over the period, at $167 compared with $159 per transaction over the same period in 2014.
“The average purchase size has gone up 4 percent, but this growth isn’t necessarily because consumers are spending more,” said Matt Bullock, Founder and CEO of eWAY. “They’re mainly diverting a larger percentage of their Christmas budget to online channels.”
The data show a significant bump in pre-Christmas sales for Monday 21 December, suggesting that some people are leaving shopping for later and demonstrating more confidence in last minute express delivery options.
Curiously, the report shows only a minor bump in Boxing Day sales, with the big leap in online sales coming in the first week of January. With the popularity of in-store event sales, like Boxing Day, declining, shoppers tend to be waiting later to snap up post-Christmas bargains.
“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,” said Bullock.
In terms of category, electronics, travel spending and household appliances were the big online movers this year. Holiday spending on restaurants and men’s and women’s fashion showed some of the biggest growth over last year. It appears that online fashion spending has grown at the expense of in-store fashion spending, with the Australian Retail Index showing a decrease in total retail fashion spend over December 2015 compared with December 2014. Men’s and women’s online fashion spending was also likely boosted by the January sales bump.
In another interesting find, Aussie retailers sent more goods to international buyers over the period, with the value of deliveries to overseas postcodes up more than 60 percent over the same period in 2014.
“There was an absolutely huge increase in the number of international shoppers buying from Aussie stores this 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. The market is really opening up for Aussie businesses,” said Bullock.