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More Consumers Online But Spending Less

More Consumers Online But Spending Less

Total online retail spending rose by 16 per cent during the year, climbing by $2 billion to $14.4 billion, the NAB says. However the average online transaction size fell from $64 in January 2010 to $41 in October 2013.

And the 16pc rise was significantly below the 20pc growth rate in the previous 12 moths, the bank notes.

“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,” said NAB chief economist Alan Oster.

Less than three percent of transactions were for goods costing more than $250 while just 0.2 per cent of online sales were for items priced above $1000.

Australian retailers were responsible for about 73 per cent of online sales, according to the NAB figures, casting doubts on the campaign by local retailers who claim the absence of GST on overseas online purchases under $1000 is badly hurting their businesses.

– Alan Oster also put the kybosh on arguments by bricks-and-mortar retailers that scrapping the $1000 GST-free threshold on imported goods would trigger an $800 million windfall for government. At best it would raise $360 million, said Oster, probably less than the cost of collecting the new revenue