Australians spent AU$3.29b online during holiday period: eWay

The latest eWay online retail report identified people were spending their money on electronics, travel agencies and tours, and house appliances during December.

Spending during the 2015 holiday period from November 16 to January 7 increased by 28 percent on 2014 to an estimated AU$3.29 billion, according to the latest eWay online retail report.

The report said people were spending an average of AU$167 per transaction, up from AU$159 over the same period in 2014.

Electronics, travel agencies and tours, and house appliances were the top categories for spending during December. At the same time, eating places and restaurants were up 59.5 percent on the previous year, as were men and women's clothing stores at 56.6 percent, and wire transfers and money orders at 64.8 percent.

eWay founder and CEO Matt Bullock said the results clearly signal people are interested in shopping online.

"The average purchase size has gone up 4 percent, but this growth isn't necessarily because consumers are spending more. They're mainly diverting a larger percentage of their Christmas budget to online channels," he said.

The eWay report also found there was a last minute surge in online spending on Monday 21 December, days away from Christmas. Bullock attributed the improvement in shipping and logistics in Australia having helped last minute shoppers deliver their packages on time.

"There was a massive improvement in shipping and logistics in Australia in 2015, with a number of new players entering the market. Next day delivery and better, often free returns policies are making shoppers more confident to purchase in this way. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2016," he said.

eWay also noted the number of international sales number of deliveries increased by 78.59 percent year on year. According to Bullock, the weaker Australian dollar attracted international shoppers to buy from Australian stores.

"The weaker Australian dollar has contributed to this trend in the past 12 months, but it's also recently become easier for businesses to sell, market, and ship to other regions. The market is really opening up for Aussie businesses," he said.

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