Not that long ago, the idea of going online to find a product you like or need, submit your payment and delivery details, and receive your purchase at your doorstep a few days later would have seemed insane.
Nowadays, we cannot imagine modern life without the convenience to purchase anything and everything via the internet with the click of a button. The eCommerce statistics that we have collected below demonstrate the relentless growth of online trade since its advent in the mid-90s. Akin to the rest of the world, Australia has also been swept by the web commerce craze, as evident by the increasing number of young and old Aussies who shop from the comfort of their homes.
You can gain insight into the recent e-commerce development in Australia and how much more it might grow in the future by reading some of the topic’s most compelling stats and facts below.
Electronic trade is the future of retail sales. See for yourself!
Top Ten Australian Web Commerce Stats & Facts
- 9.1 million Australian households shopped online in FY 2021.
- Australians spent an unprecedented $50.46 billion in 2020.
- Variety store purchases made up one-third of all e-commerce sales in 2020.
- Woolworths had around 22 million monthly visits in July 2021.
- More than two-thirds of Australian e-commerce platforms use Australia post as a shipping carrier.
- Consumers between 35 and 44 years of age splurge the most on the internet.
- 79.7% of all online purchases in FY 2021 were made in the Eastern Australian states.
- E-commerce was calculated at almost 2% of Australia’s GDP in 2020.
- More than 90% of Aussies used their mobile phones for online shopping in 2020.
- Australian e-commerce saw an increase in online shopping of over 55% in December 2020.
E-commerce Sales Statistics in Australia
1.The first domain name registration in Australia cost around $125.
When SiteZero (one of Australia’s first CD e-tailers) opened up shop in 1996, Melbourne IT obtained the necessary licenses and started administering the com.au domain names at a $125 fee. Connect.com, which was managing the net.au registrar, also started charging a similar price.
The following year, Microsoft and Australian media created ninemsn.com, which grew to become the largest Australian website by 2001, servicing up to five million visitors a month. This event was the perfect time for the rise of eCommerce in Australia.
Once the business sector realised the potential of the internet to boost sales, it backed various online retailers. One of the first and biggest internet sellers was dStore, which was created in January 1999 and offered anything from digital media to fragrances.
2. 9.1 million Australian households shopped online in FY 2021.
“How much has online shopping increased in Australia?” is a common question post-Covid-19. The latest Australia Post report on the e commerce industry shows that over 9 million families purchased a product online between 1 July 2020–30 June 2021. That’s more than four in five households at a 5.4% YOY growth—adding up to 14.6% more households than the previous fiscal year.
Despite the immense repercussions felt by the country’s business sector in 2020, e-commerce boomed to unimaginable heights. Understandable when you consider that citizen movement was restricted throughout the year by various lockdowns, social distancing measures and closed borders.
3. Australians spent an unprecedented $50.46 billion in 2020.
The same e commerce in Australia statistics reveal that the country’s consumers turned to the internet to get the products they need, spending almost $50.5 billion in the process and increasing the nation’s YOY retail sales by 57%.
4. Online sales in Australia recorded a 31.8% year-on-year growth during the 2020/21 FY.
From July 2020 to July 2021, Australia’s online shopping grew almost 32%, nearly equal to the 33.2% increase of the previous fiscal year. Victoria led the charge in eCommerce growth with an impressive 48.9% YOY increase in internet sales—meaning it contributed a similar revenue share as New South Wales (around 30%). The remaining Australian states saw at least a 20% bump in online sales during this record year for e-commerce.
5. Variety store purchases made up one-third of all e-commerce sales in 2020.
During a year of lockdowns and restrictions, Aussies turned to variety stores to recover some normalcy in their lives. Around 33% of Australia’s e commerce business was conducted at online variety stores—a far larger share than that retained by any other type of store.
By the end of FY 2020/21 (30 June 2021), every type of internet retailer registered boosted sales. While variety stores observed a YOY growth of 30%, the Home & Garden category almost reached a rise of 40%. On the other hand, Media (23% YOY) saw the smallest sales bump.
6. What percentage of retail sales are online in Australia?
The increase in online shopping during the Covid-19 year helped boost eCommerce to an impressive 16.3% share of all retail sales in 2020—an event that was not expected before 2023. For comparison, the pre-pandemic forecast figures were estimated at around 12% to 13% of total retail sales.
7. Almost 60% of Aussies said they wanted to support local businesses during Covid-19.
Since the pandemic affected the international online markets in Australia with the disruption of the shipping and supply chains, Aussies turned to local sellers for their shopping needs. According to the 2020 Australia Post report, 57% of interviewed shoppers said they seek to support local stores since the pandemic outbreak. Moreover, around the same number (52%) answered they could not rely on the long international shipping times.
Concurrently, most Australian businesses (73%) said they had to adapt their operations to utilise more reliable local supply chains, which will help them avoid similar challenges in the future.
8. What is the best online shop in Australia?
In 2020, Woolworths was the best eCommerce platform in Australia with a $1.7 billion USD revenue. Unlike the global e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay, Woolworths makes almost all of its e-commerce revenue in Australia.
The second-biggest web commerce platform for 2020 was Coles Supermarkets Australia with earnings of around $981 million USD—made mostly from national sales. Finally, third place went to Apple (the only non-AU based retailer) with a revenue of $827 million USD.
These three online stores accounted for around 15% of the 2020 e-commerce revenue in Australia.
9. Woolworths had around 22 million monthly visits in July 2021.
The latest SimilarWeb figures on the eCommerce platforms in Australia reveal that Woolworths had about 22 million visitors in a single month, making it the most popular Australian online seller today.
On the other hand, Amazon Australia (37.3 million visits) and eBay Australia (69.5 million visits) registered significantly higher numbers thanks to their varied product portfolio and global presence.
10. More than two-thirds of Australian e-commerce platforms use Australia post as a shipping carrier.
Per recent PipeCandy data, Australia Post is the most trusted and reliable shipping partner of the country’s online retail industry, with almost 68% of all e-tailers using it for domestic product deliveries. The following carriers handle the remainder of all home shipments:
- DHL with 7.69%
- Fastway Couriers with 5.53%
- Startrack with 5.27%
- UPS with 4.23%
- FedEx with 3.28%
- TolI IPEC with 1.99%
- Others with 4.06%
11. Black Friday to Cyber Monday is the busiest e-commerce period of the calendar year.
Relying on data from the usage of Aussies’ credit and debit cards, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia confirmed that online sales sites saw an enormous boost in shopping frequency during the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020.
For example, while clothing and footwear sales spiked by a total of 140% compared to the three weeks before Black Friday, department and electronics stores more than doubled their profits. Household goods and speciality retail stores also recorded a 95% and 92% sales increase, respectively.
E-commerce Shoppers Statistics in Australia
12. Consumers between 35 and 44 years of age splurge the most on the internet.
If you wonder who spends more money online, a 2018 Contevo research showed that Aussies aged 35–44 contributed 24% to all internet sales. Other significant age groups buying online were 25 to 34-year-olds and 45 to 54-year-olds who participated with over 20% each.
13. In 2018, men frequented the largest online shopping and auction sites more than women.
Statista’s eCommerce statistics for Australia from March 2018 tell us that more men visit the bigger sites such as eBay and Gumtree. For instance, while almost 4.9 million male users accessed eBay in an average month in 2018, around 4.55 million women did the same. However, while a similar case occurred with another big site (Gumtree), Amazon saw slightly more female than male visitors.
14. 79.7% of all online purchases in FY 2021 were made in the Eastern Australian states.
Aussies living in the eastern states contributed the most to the national e commerce business in FY 2020/21. During the last fiscal year, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were the top destinations for online shoppers. In the 12 months to 1 July 2021, NSW recorded a share of 31.6% of all online purchases, followed by Victoria’s 30% and Queensland’s 18.1%.
The other Australian states shared the remaining 20.3%.
15. Online retailers in Australia made most of their 2020 sales in Victoria’s and NSW’s suburbs.
The latest Australia Post report revealed that all top ten online shopping locations are currently situated in Eastern Australia. The first five postcodes (all in Victoria) registered more than double the purchase volume compared to 2019. Check the most lucrative locations for Australia’s e commerce industry and their YOY growth:
- Point Cook, VIC—119%
- Cranbourne, VIC—114.6%
- Hoppers Crossing, VIC—120.6%
- Craigieburn, VIC—137.2%
- Doreen, VIC—143.4%
- Toowoomba, QLD—55.7%
- Liverpool, NSW—57.6%
- Rouse Hill, NSW—76.2%
- Ballarat, NSW—74.5%
- Gosford, NSW—59.3%
16. 57% of Australians discarded their online shopping carts in 2018.
According to the 2018 SAP Consumer Propensity Study, almost 60% of Australian online shoppers abandon their internet carts, especially those shopping for clothes (67%) and furniture (65%).
The Australian online shopping trends revealed by the study also tell us that Aussies are price-savvy, with two-thirds of consumers discarding potential purchases due to high shipping costs and 46% using their carts to compare prices among internet retailers.
The other significant factors to give up on an online purchase are related to out-of-stock issues (32%) and long processing times (29%).
E-commerce Revenue Statistics
17. E-commerce was calculated at almost 2% of Australia’s GDP in 2020.
The recent increase in online shopping in Australia has been recognised in a recent ReportLinker research on the country’s freight and logistics market. The report says that eCommerce in Australia held a share of 1.80% of the nation’s GDP in 2020.
18. More than 90% of Aussies used their mobile phones for online shopping in 2020.
In their latest report on the Australian online shopping trends, Australia Post also shed some light on the consumers’ buying methods. While most respondents (91%) said they find mobile phones the most convenient for online shopping, a large number (76%) also answered they use their laptops for the same reason.
Moreover, tablets (61%) and smart TVs (60%) were also used to buy products on the internet. All in all, Aussies used 4.4 devices on average to get online in 2020, with 83% of them using the internet for shopping.
19. 53% of all web commerce purchases were conducted with cards in January 2020.
According to a PPRO report from early 2020, more than half of all Australian online shoppers used credit cards for their internet purchases. In comparison, 22% did their online shopping via e-wallets, and 16% used bank transfers. The remainder relied on cash and other payment methods.
20. Card-not-present fraud amounted to damages of $392.4 million in FY 2020.
(Australian Payments Network)
The figures released by the Australian Payments Network for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 reveal a 15.4% decline in fraudulent e retail transactions compared to the previous year. The APN recorded a total of $447.2 million in card payment damages, with the majority (almost $400 million) coming from CNP fraud.
On the other hand, lost and stolen card fraud ($30.8 million) and counterfeit/skimming fraud ($14 million) recorded a decrease of 28.5% and 24.8%, respectively. Ultimately, the card rate fraud for FY 2020 was calculated at 56 cents per $1,000.
Mobile E-commerce Statistics
21. The Australian mobile eCommerce market is expected to grow to $22.3 billion USD by 2023.
The J.P. Morgan 2020 report on web commerce payments in Australia also includes a section on the country’s mCommerce market. The research outlines an expected CAGR of 16.5% until 2023—which adds up to more than $22 billion USD market share of the mCommerce segment.
22. In 2019, more than half of all mobile shoppers said they complete a purchase at least weekly.
PayPal’s mCommerce Index from 2019 revealed that 55% of mobile buyers purchased a product at least once a week. Furthermore, 60% of all surveyed businesses answered they optimised their shopping platforms for mobile use.
23. Amazon and eBay are among the most popular mobile shopping apps in Australia.
According to 42matters’ retail mobile app statistics, the world’s leading shopping apps Amazon and eBay (with more than 100 million downloads each), are also highly rated by Aussie shoppers. However, despite their universal presence on a global scale, Amazon (4th) and eBay (5th) are not in the top three in Australia.
Shop: package & order tracker is currently the best-rated shopping app among Aussies (over 10 million downloads). The second place is taken by Woolworths (over 1 million downloads), while the third spot goes to SHEIN – The Hottest Trends & Fashion (over 100 million downloads).
24. 42% of Australians discovered new brands via search engines in 2019.
(We Are Social)
The Digital in Australia 2020 report released by We Are Social and Hootsuite highlighted the top methods used by Aussies to discover new brands. In addition to using search engines, 42% of online shoppers said TV ads inspired them to check out unknown brands. Word-of-mouth was also a popular way of checking out new brands (38%). Social media (26%) and visits to physical stores (25%) were the least popular choices.
25. Australians spent around $16 billion shopping via social media in 2019.
Research on Australian online shopping trends released in late 2019 revealed that the average yearly spend on shopping through social media platforms amounts to around $16 billion. Furthermore, 34% of respondents said they buy impulsively when looking at products on social media, which leads to unplanned yearly spendings of $860. The most popular social media to shop on were voted as follows:
The Covid-19 Effect on E-commerce in Australia
26. The Australian e commerce industry is set to experience a 10.3% CAGR between 2020 and 2024.
Newest research by GlobalData forecasts that the online retail industry in Australia will grow steadily over the next years to reach a revenue of $77.1 billion by 2024. The main driving factor for this extreme growth of the e-commerce sector is the change in shopping behaviour due to the various Covid-19 closures.
27. Australian e-commerce saw an increase in online shopping of over 55% in December 2020.
(Australian Bureau of Statistics)
To understand the effect of Covid-19 on the eCommerce platforms in Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has collected data about online sales countrywide for 2020. Compared to December 2019, internet shopping rose by 55.2% in December 2020. Despite ending the year with this enormous growth, November 2020 (67.3%) and October 2020 (70%) recorded an even larger increase in sales compared to the same months the previous year.
28. An eCommerce growth of 135% YOY occurred across all categories in the week after Easter Sunday 2020.
Within a few weeks of the first national lockdown (23 March 2020), the Australian e commerce business saw an impressive boost of 135% YOY. All categories performed solidly, especially Variety Stores (188% YOY) and Home & Garden (177% YOY). The number of online goods spent grew by 95% YOY.
Ready to Check Out?
Similar to other large countries in the western hemisphere, Australia is noticing an impressive e-commerce development in recent years. Even before the economic changes brought on by the pandemic, Aussies across all demographics were turning to web commerce for the products they need.
Then, Covid-19 showed the world that the future of retail is to be found online. The eCommerce statistics we’ve collected for you demonstrate an unprecedented boost in internet sales during periods of restricted movement and socialisation.
The newly-adjusted forecasts about the future of the Australian e commerce industry indicate it will continue expanding at an incredible rate. Alas, this does not bring glad tidings to brick-and-mortar stores, but we’ll be able to get anything we need or want with the click of a button.