Inside Australia’s Booming eCommerce Market

Australia Post recently released its Inside Australian Online Shopping eCommerce Update, updated in September 2021.

August 2021 was a massive month for eCommerce across Australia, with NSW recording a 41% share of all online purchases during August 2021.

Nationally, purchases were 24% higher than August 2020 and on par with Christmas 2020.

The ever-increasing demand for online shopping pushed yearly growth to 23.4% in the 12 months to 31 August 2021 and has been the catalyst for a significant increase in parcel processing investment for Australia Post. It forecasts this growth to continue into the next quarter.

Marketplaces and major and discount stores were amongst the winners in the online shopping boom, experiencing a 34% YoY growth.

The number of households shopping online in August surpassed 5.9 million for the first time ever, 1.5% higher than the Christmas rush in 2020.  This has bumped the monthly average to 5.3 million households shopping every single month in 2021. The yearly total now stands at 9.2 million unique Aussie households who’ve shopped online up to 31 August 2021.

Store Closures

Online shoppers are unsurprisingly making more unplanned purchases than 12 months ago. In a recent survey:

  • Over 37% of respondents said they’re making either slightly more, or many more unplanned purchases, and restrictions
  • Only 9% of respondents are purchasing less.

The main factor driving this shift are shoppers in New South Wales and Victoria. Over 40% of respondents from NSW have increased their unplanned purchases, with 39% of Victorian respondents saying the same.

As expected, ‘not being able to visit physical stores’ is the main reason for unplanned purchasing, with the next most popular reasons being ‘more time on my hands’ and ‘spending more time online during lockdowns’.

Savvy retailers are aware of this with 16% of shoppers indicating they’ve been getting more offers from retailers they’ve previously shopped with, and 12% saying the offers are more targeted to their interests.

State Snapshot.

Every state saw positive year-on-year (YOY) growth in August except for Victoria.

NSW was the fastest growing state for the month, growing 78.2% YOY and accounting for 41% of all online purchases. Considering NSW has 32% of Australia’s population, the state is making 1.3 times more purchases compared with the rest of the country.

The ACT was the next fastest growing state or territory with growth of 52.2% YOY. Victoria continues to see YOY decline and was down 10.9% on August 2020. The state was in full lockdown in August 2020, indicating a decrease in online purchasing despite the same retail restrictions in

Read the full report: Inside Australian Online Shopping eCommerce Update, updated in September 2021.