What Australia Spent Online This Holiday Retail Season

Today marks the end of the traditional two-month holiday retail spending period, and real-time data released by eWAY shows that Aussies splashed out online this season, spending an estimated record total of $2.95 billion.

keyboard with buy buttonToday marks the end of the traditional two-month holiday retail spending period, and real-time data released by eWAY shows that Aussies splashed out online this season, spending an estimated record total of $2.95 billion.

eWAY powers more than 17,000 Australian online stores and processes 1 in every 4 dollars spent locally online. The data revealed that online sales from mid-November 2014 to mid-January 2015 were up more than 20 per cent on the 2013-14 season. Predictions for the general retail sector for the period were placed around three to four per cent.

In December 2014 alone, we spent approximately $1.56 billion online. This is up from 1.53 billion in November, but down on October, when sales peaked for the year at $1.57 billion.

Over the past few years YoY December sales growth has been slowing (though still growing) as online retail has become prevalent. This year bucked that trend with December sales growth picking back up to 22 per cent YoY, from a growth rate 17 per cent the year prior.

Unsurprisingly, sale volumes slowed down in the week before Christmas, when postage times likely put online Christmas shopping on hold. On Boxing Day however, Aussies who chose to skip the sale crowds and shop from their living rooms spent $35.8 million online in one day, up 17.4 per cent on last year.

Areas taking the most deliveries over the period were, in order, Melbourne and Sydney’s CBDs, Toowoomba, Surry Hills and Werribee. Suburbs in Canberra and Perth also featured higher than in other months of this year.

Matt Bullock, founder and CEO of eWAY, shared the following analysis:

“eWAY recorded impressive year on year growth in the online sector this holiday period, though this is not surprising given the upward trajectory we’ve seen in online retail throughout 2014.

“What we haven’t seen however is any huge spikes or surges in spending or transaction numbers in the holiday period — not what you’d expect with all the hype and advertising. It was very steady. eWAY recorded higher sales and transactions volumes in October than we did in December.

“We’re putting this down to consumers and online retailers becoming more savvy. Some more prolific online shoppers may be more likely to go in-store over Christmas, but with stores offering heavy discounts in the months leading up, shoppers are clearly no longer saving their spending until December.

“Online retailers were clever, offering their sales to customers over longer lead periods, or giving early access to Boxing Day discounts. They were a step ahead.

“Every year online retail gets bigger and bigger. The sector isn’t changing, it’s well and truly changed. Retailers now need to focus on continually optimising their online offering for consumers.”

NB: More than 25 per cent of all online transactions in Australia are processed by eWAY. Estimated total Australian spend is calculated on this percentage.

Top 20 Australian postcodes for delivery

Top 20 postcodes by amount spent Top 20 postcodes by number of transactions
Postcode Location % of all Postcode Location % of all
3000 Melbourne 1.22% 3000 Melbourne 0.82%
2000 Sydney, NSW 0.87% 2000 Sydney, NSW 0.52%
2010 Surry Hills, NSW 0.24% 4350 Toowoomba, QLD 0.20%
2065 St Leonards/Crows Nest, NSW 0.24% 2010 Surry Hills, NSW 0.20%
6000 Perth, WA 0.21% 3030 Werribee, VIC 0.18%
3121 Richmond, VIC 0.20% 3121 Richmond, VIC 0.18%
4000 Brisbane, QLD 0.20% 2153 Baulkham Hills, NSW 0.16%
2060 North Sydney, NSW 0.19% 2026 Bondi, NSW 0.16%
4350 Toowoomba, QLD 0.18% 2065 St Leonards/
Crows Nest
2150 Parramatta, NSW 0.18% 4870 Cairns, QLD 0.15%
2153 Baulkham Hills, NSW 0.17% 2170 Liverpool, NSW 0.15%
4870 Cairns, QLD 0.17% 6065 Hocking, WA 0.15%
2026 Bondi, NSW 0.17% 2602 Canberra, ACT 0.15%
3030 Werribee, VIC 0.16% 2250 Gosford, NSW 0.15%
2170 Liverpool, NSW 0.16% 4000 Brisbane, QLD 0.15%
2088 Mosman, NSW 0.16% 2615 Latham, ACT 0.14%
5000 Adelaide, SA 0.16% 4740 Mackay, QLD 0.14%
3205 South Melbourne, VIC 0.15% 6164 Success, WA 0.14%
2145 Wentworthville, NSW 0.14% 2060 North Sydney, NSW 0.14%
2250 Gosford, NSW 0.14% 2031 Randwick, NSW 0.14%

NB: eWAY data covers international postcodes and transactions that are for digital services, which don’t require postage.

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