In a year defined by rising inflation, interest rates, and cost-of-living pressures, Similarweb’s annual Digital 100 Report reveals the online brands who bucked the trend and recorded the highest growth in Australian traffic throughout 2023.

The Report highlights Australia’s 20 fastest growing brands across five categories (fashion & accessories, consumer electronics, home & garden, personal finance, and travel & tourism) and ranks them by percentage increase.

Each of the winners was already operating a substantial online business in 2022, but significantly increased its reach in 2023. To be considered for the report, brands had to have a minimum threshold of 50,000 unique monthly Australian visits in 2022. 

“The Digital 100 is our annual celebration of business success online, highlighting publishers and sellers who have achieved huge increases in their online audience within a single year,” Similarweb CEO, Or Offer said.

“Similarweb’s mission is to provide comprehensive visibility into web, search, app, and other measures of digital markets, allowing companies to benchmark their own performance and discover opportunities to improve their performance versus the competition. The Digital 100 companies show that tremendous growth is possible, even in highly competitive markets.”

This year’s category winners are:

Consumer Electronics: CeX ( +94.3% 

“Over the past 18 months we’ve noticed a strong demand in Australia for second-hand electronics as consumers look to make every dollar go further,” Similarweb senior insights manager, David F. Carr said.

“With that in mind, CeX’s record growth makes sense as they not only sell second hand electronics, but they also buy unwanted phones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles which could be an attractive option when times are tough.”

Another trend to emerge in this year’s electronics category is increased interest in home security equipment, particularly video surveillance. Of the category’s 20 fastest growing brands, six (eufy, Ring, Arlo, Reolink, Swann and Hikvision) are dedicated to home security technology. Both eufy and Ring increased traffic by 64% and 29.5% respectively. 

Home & Garden: Litfad ( +91.5%  

“As Australians sought to manage cost of living pressures in 2023, many who were in the market for new furniture, homewares, and lightning turned to the Chinese discount retailer, Litfad. Of all five category winners, Litfad had the highest average unique monthly visitors with 278,800 turning to the site,” Carr said.

Other notable mentions in this category include James Lane and Luxo Living which increased traffic 87.4% and 72.7% respectively.

Personal Finance: Tick Insurance ( +123.4%

“For those Australians with the means to travel, it appears one important lesson was learned during the COVID years – buy travel insurance. Tick Insurance has been the greatest beneficiary of this trend, more than doubling its traffic with 123.4% growth as those travelling abroad seek to minimise the risks of any unforeseen events,” Carr said.

One interesting trend appears in the names who aren’t in this year’s list, rather than those who are – the lack of BNPL providers. After multiple years of strong growth, it appears Australia has hit ‘max BNPL’ with no major provider – with the exception of Deferit for bills – appearing in the top 20. 

Travel & Tourism: SeaLink ( +188.8%

“Australians love to travel but, as wallets tighten, there is a shift in the destinations they’re choosing. SeaLink’s position at the top of a booming travel sector is indicative of the desire to explore closer to home as the business provides ferry services to iconic Australian destinations Kangaroo Island, K’Gari (Fraser Island), and Rottnest Island, among others,” Carr said.

For those who do venture overseas, Australians are still staying within the region with Japan and China at the top of the bucket list as seen with the impressive triple-digit growth recorded by J Rail Pass and China Airlines.

Apparel & Accessories:  Crocs ( +169.8%  

“Consumers began buying crocs in earnest during the pandemic when comfort trumped all else. While some may have begun doing so ironically, it’s impossible to go anywhere these days without seeing a significant number of people – particularly younger generations – wearing Crocs,” Carr said.

While the category’s overall winner was an international business, Australian brands dominated the rest of the top 20. Whether it was for circular economy marketplaces (airrobe), outdoor adventure wear (Zorali), or women’s boutique fashion (BabyBoo, NudeLucy, and Billy J), Australians showed a preference for local brands with 13 of the 20 fastest growing businesses being locally grown.