Establsiehd Australian retailers were the driving force behind the uptake of online commerce with Australia experienced its busiest online shopping period in December, peaking in the week commencing of 5th December.

According to PayPal, Christmas 2011 marked the end of the battle between on and offline, with many Australian bricks and mortar retailers captailising on the investment in online over the last year.

Elena Wise, PayPay Australia acting managing director, said many Australian retailers have come back fihgting hard against international competition over the last year.

“With the continued strength of the Australian dollar, international competition is set to intensify into 2012. Australians prefer to shop domestically providing an ongoing opportunity for retailers to capitalise on their competitive advantage by combining their offline footprints with their online presence,” she said.

“Emerging retail models being offered by Aussie retailers, such as ‘buy online, collect in-store’, provide a customer-centric approach that engenders brand loyalty and is hard matched by overseas competition.”

Two retailers that saw the success of its online channels are Dan Dan Murphy’s and Toys”R”Us, both of which experienced their largest ever online sales during the Christmas trading period.

Toys”R”Us experienced significant peaks in mid-November and mid-December where the most popular items purchased online were Monster High dolls, LEGO and collectibles.

“Our customers love the convenience of shopping online, with the added bonus of not needing to worry about getting a 16ft trampoline in the back of their car. Toys”R”Us shoppers use the online store to research their purchases with our Top 10 Toy List particularly popular with mums and dads wanting to know what the hottest toys were for Christmas,” Beth Glancey, marketing manager online and eCommerce, Toys”R”Us said.

Similarly, Martin Smith, Dan Murphy’s general manager said they saw a spike in alcohol via its online channel, with additional offers adding to the convenience of buying online.

“Our customers demand information at their fingertips, whether they are planning to make their final purchase online or in a store and over the Christmas period we saw an uptake in customers using our ‘Find in Store’ option to search for products online before they buy in store, highlighting the value of our online channel to not only drive sales online, but also offline,” he said.