Online Explosion: Dec ‘Busiest Ever’ For E-Shoppers, Says PayPal

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Its official: Christmas 2011 was the biggest ever for online shopping, PayPal confirmed yesterday.

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The Christmas period “marked the end of the battle between on and offline” with many of Australia’s largest brands capitalising from their recent investment in online, the payment provider said.

Online activity peaked around the week ending on the 5th of December.

And it seems the phenomonal growth is down to “established” Aussie retailers whom have become the driving force behind the uptake of online commerce, said Elena Wise, PayPal’s Acting Managing Director.

“Many of Australia’s most established retailers have come back fighting hard against international competition over the last year, and PayPal saw the majority of its merchants experience their biggest ever online trading period this Christmas.”

And consumers here are also on the prowl for convenient ways to purchase, be it online, via a mobile device, or in-store.

And the competitive prices available online is also a major push factor towards e-purchases.

However, more intense competition is on the way for 2012, Wise warned, partly due to the continued strength of the Australian dollar, which is good news for the consumer.

However, all is not lost for local operators.

 “Australians prefer to shop domestically providing an ongoing opportunity for retailers to capitalise on their competitive advantage by combining their offline footprints with their online presence.”

Consumers here are “nimble” increasingly switching between various retail channels to research, locate and buy goods and services, she added.

“Emerging retail models such as ‘buy online, collect in-store’.. engenders brand loyalty and is hard matched by overseas competition.”

And it looks like two retailers were the major winners over the holiday period: Dan Murphy’s and Toys”R”Us, both of which experienced their “largest ever” online sales during trading period.

“During the holidays, we saw a spike in alcohol being bought via our online channel, with additional offers adding to the convenience of buying online. Whilst online orders spiked, many of our customers still chose to pop into local stores for their purchasess” said Martin Smith, General Manager Dan Murphy’s.

So, was this mega e-shopping trend repeated elsewhere?

“We certainly had a strong Christmas for online trading” a Woolworths spokesperson told SmartHouse.

 

However, the spokesperson refused to divulge official trading figures, saying the retailer will release official figures later this month.

“Retailers that deliver great products and customer service across multiple channels are ultimately those that will reap the rewards of the new retail environment,” Wise added.

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