Cards at the Ready: Online Spending Up By Over 10%

Australians’ online spending has risen by more than 10% in a year, as the 2013 total approaches $15 billion. Measured by proportion, however, this remains some way behind other major Western economies.

credit card online (article_02bc)National Australia Bank’s online retail sales index has shown that $14.6 billion was spent between November 2012 and November 2013 – over 10% higher than the previous year.

Consequently, the calendar year of 2013 could see figures approaching $15 billion, depending on how many people turned to their credit cards to complete their Christmas shopping online.

And despite concerns about the ease of buying abroad, well over $10 billion of this online spending has remained in Australia, benefiting domestic retailers.

Online sales now around for around 6.5% of total retail spending in Australia, though this remains some distance behind the UK and the US, where online sales are closer to 10%.

NAB’s chief economist, Alan Oster, said the pace of growth of online spending had cooled over the past year, but he warned retailers to be ready for another surge.

“In the last few years, it has grown at around 20 per cent. That’s slowed a lot in the past 12 months, but I think it’s starting to go back up again,” he said.

He added that the greater proportion of retail spending online in countries such as the UK and US was a good indication of the levels that Australia could expect to reach in forthcoming years.

“If you look at the US and the UK, where online is a little bit more mature, they are about nine to 10 per cent. So, I would have thought it’s not yet at full maturation here,” he said.

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