Released as the traditional two-month holiday spending period comes to an end, the real-time data reveals that online sales during this time have gone up by over 20 per cent from the 2013-14 season.

$1.56 billion was spent online during December 2014, up from the $1.53 billion spent in November and slightly less than last year’s peak October period ($1.57 billion).

“eWAY recorded impressive year-on-year growth in the online sector this holiday period, though this is not surprising given the upward trajectory we’ve seen in online retail throughout 2014,” eWAY founder and CEO Matt Bullock said.

“What we haven’t seen however is any huge spikes or surges in spending or transaction numbers in the holiday period — not what you’d expect with all the hype and advertising. It was very steady. eWAY recorded higher sales and transactions volumes in October than we did in December.”

Mr Bullock said consumers have become more “savvy” over time, with prolific shoppers more likely to take advantage of discounts in the lead up to Christmas.

“…Shoppers are clearly no longer saving their spending until December,” Mr Bullock said.

“Online retailers were clever, offering their sales to customers over longer lead periods, or giving early access to Boxing Day discounts. They were a step ahead.”

Online retail continues to show signs of growth, with December sales highlighting a 5 per cent increase from the year prior.

The City of Melbourne was found to have taken the most deliveries over the holiday period, accounting for 1.2 per cent of all spending. The City of Sydney (0.87 per cent) came next, followed by Surry Hills (0.24 per cent) and St Leonards/Crows Nest (0.24 per cent).

“Every year online retail gets bigger and bigger,” Mr Bullock continued.

“The sector isn’t changing, it’s well and truly changed. Retailers now need to focus on continually optimising their online offering for consumers.”

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