Aussies making smaller purchases online


1260786_62055744Consumers are spending more online but are making smaller purchases, with almost 90 per cent of goods bought over the internet costing less than $100, new figures show.

The National Australia Bank’s retail sales data comes less than a week after state and territory treasurers agreed the GST-free threshold for goods bought online should be lowered below $1,000.

Average online transaction size also fell from $64 in January 2010 to $41 in October 2013, as Australian traditional retailers push for the GST to be applied to online goods costing $20.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster says Australians are spending less on each individual transaction despite spending more online.

“Retailers cutting prices to build sales volume, changes to shipping arrangements and a significant increase in people purchasing low-cost media products like e-books, movies and music online are factors driving the lower transaction sizes,” he said in a statement.

The NAB data also showed that less than three per cent of transactions were for goods costing more than $250 while just 0.2 per cent of online sales were for items priced above $1,000, in the year to October.

But overall online retail spending rose by 16 per cent during that period, climbing by $2 billion to $14.4 billion.

Australian retailers controlled about 73 per cent of online sales.

More than two-thirds of online sales growth, in the year to October, came from department stores, media and publishing companies and grocery and liquor sellers.

Media transactions averaged just $9 during that period, reflecting the low cost of smart phone apps, music downloads and e-books.


You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.