For the 12 months ending May 2012, Australia’s total online spending was around $11.3 billion, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index. This level is equivalent to 5.2 per cent of traditional bricks & mortar retail spending (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food) for the year ended April 2012.
The NAB Online Retail Sales Index rose to 187 points in May 2012 – up from 169 points in April 2012. In dollar terms, online spending grew by around +14 per cent year-on-year in May 2012. This compares with +15 per cent and +19 per cent year-on-year in April and March 2012 respectively.
The growth rate for online sales has slowed considerably since the second half of 2011, with the current rate considerably lower than the level in May 2011 (+41 per cent year-on-year).
That said, online sales growth remains considerably stronger than traditional retail bricks and mortar retail – which recorded just +0.2 per cent year-on-year growth in April (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). After seasonal adjustment, bricks and mortar grew at +1.6 per cent – a modest rate when compared with recent history.
Quantium’s research has shown that a growing number of Australian fashion retailers are adopting a multi-channel strategy by including online as an additional contact point with their customers. The data shows that multi-channel fashion retailers are generating up to 30 per cent of their total monthly sales through their online stores, indicating some of the ways that traditional retailers can adapt to the changing environment and use the online retail market to their advantage.