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June Online Retail Sales Up 49.6% Year-on-Year

The Australian e-commerce sector remained robust in June, despite prior record-breaking months from home-bound online shoppers during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index, online sales jumped 0.2% from May to June – still up 49.6% year-on-year, despite an easing in in-store restrictions.

The result follows a significant 16.4% on-month jump in April as COVID19 restrictions further pushed customers inside.

According to NAB, Australians forked out $35.69 billion in e-commerce for the twelve months to June – notching around 10.75 of total retail trade.

The results is around 23% higher than the same time last year.

“While online retail sales growth is typically volatile month to month, the recent changes that COVID-19 has brought to the broader economy, and day to day life, has made it even more so,” states NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster.

“Our NAB Online Retail Sales Index data returned to more moderate growth in June, from the contraction in May and record growth in the two months prior.”

[NAB]

The news comes as Victoria further retreats into stage four lockdown, with stores closing and retailers relying on online shopping to generate sales.

Commentators expected a consequent uptick on sales for August.

Monthly growth in online retail sales was driven by domestic sellers, as international organisations continued to contract.

On a state-by-state basis, results were mixed according to differing levels of coronavirus restrictions. NT, WA and QLD notched strong online sales growth month-on-month, with milder growth in VIC.

On a category basis, online sales lift for four out of eight categories month-on-month, with growth lead by homewares and appliances alongside grocery, liquor and others.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, online retail accounted for 9.7% of total retail sales in June 2020 – up from 6.1% the same time last year.

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