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Web Shopping The "Norm"

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 05/06/2013

Internet shopping at "critical tipping point" as it enters mainstream, warns researchers

Aussie consumers spend almost $285 a month on the web - mainly on electronics, travel and food products. 

After 10 years of growth, internet shopping finally reached "mainstream" status for the first time in the first quarter 2013, says Roy Morgan 'State of the Nation Report'.  

In fact, Australian consumers who don't buy online are now in the "minority".

Internet shopping is growing four times faster as traditional bricks and mortar retailers. Online sales grew 12% in the last year to an all-time record $24.3 billion, while total sales rose just over 3%. 

However, traditional store sales are still much bigger - $258.4bn, compared to $24.3bn spent online. 

The average internet shopper spends $285 a month,  mostly on Travel, Entertainment & Leisure, Electronics, Fashion and Food & Beverages.

JB Hi-fi online sales soared 40% in the last quarter and web visitor numbers swelled to 1 million weekly - up 31% - making it one of the most visited sites in Australia. However, JB's online sales still account for only 2% of total sales. 

Swelling online traffic is also cutting in-store foot fall, Roy Morgan Research shows. 

One in 4 online shoppers now visit stores less, compared to 10% in 2003. 

"Annual online sales now total over $24 billion, with year-on-year percentage growth still in the double digits," says Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research. 

"The internet continues to transform Australians' shopping habits: more people shop online; they spend more; they buy products across more categories; and they visit stores less often."

However, "security and trust are still unresolved issues for online retailing," warns Levine. More than half of all Australians still don't feel comfortable giving their credit card details online.  

Almost two out of three consumers buy from retailers they know and one fifth only buy from Aussie online retailers only.

Roy Morgan Research interviews over 50,000 consumers every year. 

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