Sunday 9 December was forecasted to be the busiest online shopping day ever, according to eBay, PayPal and Australia Post.

Approximately 2.3 million Australians was predicted to visit on this day alone – a 26 per cent increase over last year’s busiest online shopping day on 11 December 2011.

Meanwhile, Australia Post expected to deliver half a million more parcels across the country in the week following the busiest online shopping day.  Last year, Australia Post delivered an additional three million parcels in December alone.

To help address the spike in online shopping and shipping, Australia Post announced the launch of a new flagship superstore in Sydney CBD. It includes a 24/7 zone with self-service terminals, vending machine and parcel lockers so customers can pick up or send their Christmas parcels any time of the day. The superstore also features an online shopping zone with Apple Macs and iPads so customers can shop for their Christmas gifts online, in-store.

“Despite positive online growth figures, we recognise that the retail industry is facing real challenges,” Deborah Sharkey, vice president, eBay Australia, said.

“Consumers are not spending more, they are spending differently. They are sending us a clear message that they want to shop online and mobile, alongside physical stores. The challenge for the modern retailer is to be everywhere the consumer is.

“Retail has never been as simple for the consumer and more complex for the retailer. Leading service providers like eBay, PayPal and Australia Post are innovating at pace to provide elegant consumer solutions on behalf of the retail industry.”

Similarly, Jeff Clementz, managing director, PayPal Australia said: “We are witnessing an increased growth in the number of Australian retailers who have opened their virtual store doors to receptive consumers. This year, consumers will be shopping across a mix of retail channels, from their tablets to their mobiles to in-store. Wherever they are shopping, consumers are looking for flexibility, convenience and security.”