Australians still love to shop until they drop… the mouse or the broadband connection, that is. According to the National Australia Bank’s online retail sales index, Australians last year spent $12.8b online. Admittedly, that’s still only 5.8 per cent the size of traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing. But the online annual growth of 23 per cent in 2012 was almost 10 times that of traditional retailing.
It’s easy to understand why. Time-poor consumers can buy in minutes what might otherwise consume hours in traffic-choked travel – to potentially return empty-handed, for want of the right size or colour product in stock. There’s also the phenomenon of Australia’s resources boom, which physically separates an entire market of cashed-up consumers from traditional retail outlets.