Australians spent an average of $1,963 online in 2020 with three quarters (75.6%) of internet users making an online purchase, new data from Hootsuite and We Are Social has shown.

Suggesting that at-home shopping is here to stay, The Digital 2021: Australia report revealed that almost 80% of Australian consumers visited an online retail site in the past month with 74.9% making a purchase.

Food and personal care led the growth with sales up 30.4% year-on-year totaling $7.14 billion, followed by fashion and beauty (20.6%), furniture and appliances (22.3%) and toys, DIY & hobbies (19.3%).

Looking at the most popular Google Shopping search queries, Kmart and Bunnings came out on top, ahead of eBay in fourth position, Big W ranked sixth, Target ranked ninth and Amazon in 12th position.

Mobile phones were used to purchase online for 80% of Australians aged 35 to 44 years old, followed closely by those aged 25 to 34 years (78.9%) and 16 to 24 years (73.7%). In addition, more than one quarter (25.1%) of internet users are now making use of mobile service payments such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Hootsuite vice president for corporate marketing, Henk Campher said there has been incredible digital and social media shifts throughout the world over the past 12 months.

“Embracing online shopping and retail spending is a trend that continues to emerge, with more than three in four Aussie internet users aged 16 to 64 revealing they bought something online in the past month and 28% sharing they discover brands through ads on social media,” he said.

“On the social side, four in five Australians are now active on social, spending an average of one hour and 46 minutes on social per day, with YouTube (78.2%) the leading platform on a monthly basis, ahead of Facebook (77.7%), Facebook Messenger (65.4%), Instagram (55.3%) and Whatsapp (38.8%).

“Interestingly, while almost all Australians (98%) use a conventional search engine and close to 35% use social media to search for brand information, only 63.9% of Aussie internet users are concerned about how companies are using their data, with 36% using ad-blocking tools in the past month.

“Australians are turning to social for brand information and brand discovery as part of their daily social habits, with this increased time and engagement on social leading to more open wallets and purchasing decisions.”

We Are Social Sydney managing director, Suzie Shaw said even though the lockdown period in Australia was shorter than in most other countries, the report shows how much of an impact Covid-19 had on the way we socialise, get our entertainment fix, and shop, among many other things.

“New social platforms, like TikTok, are growing exponentially, and social gaming is proving to be a prominent presence in the digital diet of most Australians, representing a unique and broadly untapped opportunity for many brands.”