Inside Australian Online Shopping

Retailers need to have a consistent offering on one integrated ecosystem across online and in-store in order to effectively compete and grow.


Australian retail is noisy, complex and fast-paced. Shoppers’ expectations around convenience, value and choice have driven a higher proportion to shop online, where they have access to a world of information, products and services at their fingertips.

We’ve moved from a simple combination of online and bricks and mortar, to online shopping across multiple devices and in-store ‘experiences’. Touching and trying products, testing to see how they integrate with our lives, how they make us look, and most importantly, how they make us feel.

The industry is calling this ‘new retail’ - where consumers have multiple experiences with a brand or product, across a number of platforms.

Across the world, different markets are offering unique ways for consumers to experience and purchase products. The shift of buying power from the US and Europe to China and South East Asia has begun, driven by the burgeoning rise of consumers accessing ecommerce marketplaces.

In Australia, this represents huge opportunities for our retail industry. Our close proximity to China and South-East Asia means we can offer the region quality, trusted brands through cross border trade or via physical experiences such as tourism, where visitors to Australia are at a record high.

Australian goods are highly sought after and valued, and our reputation for being clean, green, and authentic gives Australian businesses a distinct advantage.

So how do retailers make the most of these local and international opportunities? The third edition of Inside Australian Online Shopping will arm your business with information, data and insights, which are the most powerful asset to your competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Understanding the changing expectations around customer experience and differentiating your business in the market will help your business achieve success and keep you ahead of the competition.

The 2018 report provides an in-depth look at online shopping and delivery trends across Australia, growth patterns and insights on popular products bought online, where the nation’s most frequent online shoppers live and our predictions for future growth areas. For the first time ever, we’ve looked beyond Australia, incorporating international data and advice for key international markets where we have established partnerships on the ground with major players.

By aligning our data and insights with your passion for your business, we hope this report becomes a valuable guide to growing your business and eCommerce in Australia.

Looking back to 2015, less than 10% of Australians used a smartphone to make an online purchase, Afterpay launched its first product, and online spend on physical goods grew by a mere 6%.

Fast forward to 2017, and one in five online purchases were made from a mobile device, payment services such as Afterpay had attracted over 1.5 million customers, and online spending grew by 18.7%1.

A new generation of consumers are reshaping the face of online shopping. Australia’s 18 to 36 age demographic has increased by half a million people since the last census, now representing 26% of the total Australian population. This group values flexibility and transparency, and embraces new technology and services.

Shoppers demand a frictionless end-to-end shopping experience, with easy access across all devices, simple payment options and convenience across all touch points. They also expect flexibility in delivery timeframes and collection locations.

As a result, retailers need to have a consistent offering on one integrated ecosystem across online and in-store in order to effectively compete and grow.

In 2017, marketplaces and discount department stores were the favourite destination sites for online shoppers, with purchases via these channels growing over 50%. Consumers can access a range of price comparison sites and are more aware of their options. The growth of online sales events, such as Black Friday andClick Frenzy, is also changing consumer buying behaviour. More shoppers are holding off on purchases until these events,to potentially ‘grab a bargain’, meaning retailers have to manage fluctuating inventory levels and fulfilment challenges.

This report provides a rich analysis of Australian consumer buying behaviour and what consumers internationally are buying from Australian retailers. The paper aims to help businesses of all sizes and industries refine how they interact with customers, identify new market opportunities and meet rapidly changing consumer expectations.

By 2020, we predict that 1 in 10 items will be bought online. More