NAB Online Retail Sales Index - January 2013

A snapshot of the key findings in latest NAB Online Retail Sales Index reveals that online continues to shape the Australian marketplace. Online retail sales rose to an estimated A$13 billion in the year to January 2013 and is now equivalent to 5.8% of traditional bricks and mortar sales (excluding food). Growth remains strong, up 27% year-on-year in January 2013, even though January is typically a weaker month for the on-line sector (chart 1). Softer spending patterns follow a pre-Christmas rise in sales in November. The January 2013 results highlight a stronger post Christmas period than in January 2012. Online remains much stronger than traditional retail (up just 0.4% year-on- year in December 2012, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis).

Trends in the individual sub-sectors of online retailing remain divergent, with Household Goods & Electronics showing above average growth over the last three months, particularly in November 2012 – coinciding with the launch of the Apple iPad Mini and Mac Books with retina display – after a long period of under performance The index for this sub-sector moderated in January, though is considerably higher relative to last year.

Those aged in their 30s and 40s remain the key demographic for online spending, while Western Australia's share of spending continues to rise, as the state outpaces the rest of the nation in growth terms.

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