'Most sales' on local sites, report shows

'Most' online shopping by Australians is on local websites, according to data from NAB Bank.

The  bank’s latest Online Retail Sales Index valued online sales in Australia for the year to April 2012 at $11.1 billion.

Online sales are equivalent to 5.1 per cent of traditional retail spending, up from 4.9 per cent in 2011, claims the report.

There has been a clear slowdown in growth over the past year, with the year-on-year growth rate declining to just 15 per cent for the month of April – although growth in online sales continues to outpace traditional retail.

Domestic retailers – those that are Australian for tax purposes – continue to dominate online retail sales, with a 73 per cent share of the market.

Growth in domestic sales pulled back to 16 per cent year-on-year, compared to international sales which increased by 13 per cent year-on-year to April 2012.

Australia’s online spending continues to be dominated by those in their 30s and 40s, with Gen Y spending remaining below average.

Under 30s are spending more on online department stores and recreation, whereas over 60s spend more on food and beverages. The under 30s are more likely to purchase from international retailers – one third of spending from 30s is made overseas compared to a quarter for all other age groups.

Most online purchases continue to be made by metropolitan residents, accounting for 72 per cent in the year to April 2012,  and WA  remains the notable stand out of online sales growing by 32 per cent year-on-year – more than double the national average.

The NAB Index is based on two million non-cash transactions per day, scaled up to replicate the broad economy.

• The Australian Sporting Goods Association has welcomed the announcement the Australian Bureau of Statistics will now collect data specifically about online shopping.

Executive Director of ASGA, Shannon Walker, says “This is an acknowledgement that online is a large and growing segment of the retail market.

The ABS will now be able to track Australian spending data from domestic and overseas online retailers as well as ‘multi-channel’ retailers that sell online and from traditional bricks and mortar outlets.

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