Online shopping set to skyrocket

New research shows nearly one in two Australians buy something on the internet every month and the proportion is expected to jump sharply later this year.

As Australia’s ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers brace for the arrival of US-based ecommerce behemoth Amazon, RoyMorgan Research revealed that in any given four-week period last year, just over 8.7 million Australians (44.2 per cent) aged 14 and over bought one or more products via the internet.

This equated to more than 1.7 million extra shoppers per four weeks since 2013, when nearly seven million Australians, or 36.4 per cent, shopped online in an average four weeks.

Entertainment and leisure items accounted for the greatest number of internet shoppers, with 3.9 million people buying something from this category in any given four weeks, followed by fashion with 2.3 million, food and beverages (2.1 million) and reading material (2.0 million).

“The data is unequivocal: Australians can’t get enough of shopping online,” said Roy Morgan Research’s Norman Morris.

“In any given four-week period, more of us are purchasing products as diverse as clothing, food, reading matter, health and beauty products, furniture, and electronics via the internet.

“Presently, Australian shoppers have access to a limited range of product categories on Amazon, compared with the vast selection available to US customers, but local distribution centres will allow for much greater variety and shopping potential.

“Add to this that 21.4 per cent of Australians say they ‘only buy from Australian online stores’, and Amazon’s antipodean future sure looks promising.

“Then there’s the prospect of the company launching its quick-turnaround grocery delivery service AmazonFresh. As we recently reported, Australian supermarkets have not yet conquered the online space, but AmazonFresh may succeed where others have not.” 

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