Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Online Trends e-commerce

Australian eCommerce Stats for August 2012 - And what to take and not take from them

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Online Trends e-commerce

I have had some pretty interesting and consistent conversations in the last few months.

People - in the web and digital industry - are of the same mind: we finally have a seemingly sound and certainly, growing digital economy in Australia.

Whereas previously, we had little, nothing and then some spurts, any serious business has or at least is working hard on their digital strategy and by-and-large getting it.

No more, ‘build it and they will come’.

No more skepticism that the channel doesn’t exist and cannot work, at least with the right approach.

Compare this to 15 years ago where I was pleading with small businesses to see the future and to spend $2k on a website - akin at the time to buying an XRay machine in terms of perceived return to the business.

Today, the questions are gone. 

The web industry is on the front-foot, not the back.

At a high-level, we no longer need to justify ourselves or apologise. This is the start of our time, as long as we get it right at a micro level.

The stats below are interesting in that they show both continued and sustained growth as well as a base that cannot be disputed; even if eCommerce plateus today and grows no further, it is still a serious channel and one still ripe to go after.

There is plenty of room in the eCommerce game for new and established players if they’re sensible, understand it, align themselves with the right people and have realistic budgets.

The stats are basically as follows:

  • The absolute majority of the nation has access to the internet, about 80% of us go online and 60% of us are online every day.
  • We love social networks of which Facebook dominates. Almost 2m of us are on Twitter and Pinterest at just over 500k is the dark horse and one that I back for the medium term.
  • By next year, we’ll spend $37bn on eCommerce. 
  • The average amount we are likely to spend as individuals has doubled in the past 6 years: you and I will statistically spend $2.1k online this year.
  • The young spend, the old spend less though the middle-aged - 35 - 44 is where the greatest proportion of spending as a percentage, is at.
  • The areas we spend our money online, is roughly in-line with how we have been trained and the sophistication of the respective areas/industries: accommodation and travel is the clear leader (who books hotels over the phone anymore?) whilst betting/lotteries, home furnishings and medical products are in single digits.

I can’t see how betting/lotteries and quite possibly medical products will not boom in the next few years, based on what I am seeing.

Nothing like travel and accommodation, though the general betting scene is gearing up - especially with possible changes in legislation around casinos and pokies - and health is the fastest growing part of our economy.

  • Not sure if this is true, though according to the research, PayPal absolutely kills it: traditional PayPal and Credit Cards through PayPal. If it is true, extraordinary. (Will look into this because it doesn’t correlate with what I know.)
  • Purchases from Australian websites are still the majority of purchases me make as Australians. We shop overseas, though not like we shop here. 53% at least.
  • And the biggest retailers...? Let me take a moment to gloat - and I promise it was not the reason for my blog - of the top 10 online eCommerce websites in Australia, Wiliam (the web design firm I work for) is behind three of them including number one, BigW. 
    • And Cudo.
    • And Dick Smith.

The stats are probably roughly accurate at most levels, the trend much more so.

We shop online in Australia and with much more confidence than ever.

It is not going in any other direction than up.

The decision is not why, if or when, it is why not.