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eCommerce Statistics Australia

Report Highlights

  • eCommerce payments in Australia reached $36.7 billion in 2020, and the figure is projected to reach $54.2 billion by the end of 2021.
  • Online sales posted a 55% year over year increase in 2020 from 2019.
  • Smartphones are used in making 64% of online purchases.
  • 48% of the purchases are made by a laptop, 28% by a desktop PC, and 21% are completed using a tablet.
  • On average, the number of online shoppers in December 2020 was 21% higher than the figure in December 2019.
  • Between 2020 and 2024, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the eCommerce industry is predicted to be at 8%.
  • In 2020, nine million Aussie households shopped online, representing 82% of all households.
  • Online retail spending represented a 16.3% cut of the total volume of retail spend in 2020.
  • Food and personal care products accounted for 25% of the revenue from eCommerce.
  • Fashion contributed another 25%, ‘toys, Do-It-Yourself products, and hobbies’ contributed 20%, electronics represented 18% with ‘appliances and furniture’ at 11% of the eCommerce revenue.
  • Australia Post is the shipping service provider of choice for most (65%) of online shoppers, while StarTrack and CouriersPlease serve 13% and 5% of the users respectively.

ecommerce statistics Australia

Revenue and financial statistics

  • Revenue from eCommerce in Australia was $25.7 billion in 2020.
  • Credit cards and debit cards are the preferred modules of payment for e-commerce activities, accounting for approximately 50% of all transactions.
  • In 2019, 13% of online eCommerce payments were made via bank transfer, 52% via debit/ credit cards, 22% using digital wallets, and only 7% used cash.
  • In the 2020/21 financial year, Australians spent $48.6 billion in online retail shopping; a 35% year over year increase.
  • Woolworths Australia sold products worth $1.7 billion in 2020, Coles Online netted $981 million and, the Apple Store Online had revenue of $827 million.
  • These top three online stores moved volume amounting to 15% of the total online revenue.
  • Fraud in e-retail transactions resulted in losses worth $447.2 million in 2020, with approximately $400 million lost to Card Not Present (CNP) cases.

User Statistics

  • Consumer penetration of e-commerce is 69% among Australians.
  • In 2019, 33% of eCommerce trades were completed using a mobile device; 55% on a web browser and 45% in-app.
  • 57% of Australian online shoppers opted to support local businesses in 2020.
  • Customers highly appreciate customer experience in eCommerce. One out of three consumers change their seller when goods bought are not personalised.
  • 77% of online shopping households are keen to see sustainability in the products they purchase, with about 85% of the said shoppers seeing it necessary to receive information on the sustainability of production.
  • 17 million Aussies visited an online retail store in every month of the financial year 2020/21.
  • 76% of online shoppers make a purchase at least once a month. 27% make weekly purchases and 25% buy goods every fortnight or three weeks.
  • While 40% of eCommerce customers buy groceries online, one in every three online shoppers have never made grocery purchases online.
  • 80% of eCommerce customers conduct research before making a purchase online.
  • 51% of online shoppers feel the biggest shortcoming is the inability to test or try out a purchased item. A quarter of them feel the lack of a physical shopping experience is the biggest drawback.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Statistics

  • In early 2020, Buy Now Pay Later saw rising popularity among users. Afterpay, a huge market player boasted 3.3 million users representing a 5.5% share in the market.
  • As of May 2021, 45% of Australian online shoppers used BNPL as a payment option. 65% of millennials, 45% of Gen X, 51% of Gen Z and 33% of baby boomers.
  • One in every four online shoppers has used BNPL to purchase clothes and accessories.
  • BNPL-online shoppers highly consider the user experience before using a BNPL service. Users would forfeit the item to be purchased altogether if the process was complex (53%) or it took too long (50%).
  • Online businesses attribute approximately 31% of their sales to BNPL transactions.
  • Of every four eCommerce businesses, one reports that more than 50% of their revenue is grossed from BNPL services.
  • BNPL helped 77% of online businesses that used it to be able to provide better customer experience.
  • 67% of these businesses also reported increased customer loyalty as a result of BNPL.
  • 40% of online businesses offer the BNPL option to customers. An extra 18% of these businesses plan to offer BNPL before the end of 2021.

Social media, online advertisement, and drivers in Australia’s e-commerce

  • The expenditure for online retail advertisements rose by 5% to 16% between the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21.
  • Australians under 40 years mostly factor the price or cost before buying a product while those who are over 40 are influenced by the products themselves.
  • Social media sites help 36% of online product consumers get the desired product or even discover a new one.
  • Product advertisement done online exposes products to 26% of consumers. Price comparison is the source for 27% of online shoppers while marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon expose 35% of consumers to products.
  • Social media plays an important role in finding new products for 37% of online shoppers, while 23% discover new products from social media influencers.
  • Nine out of ten Instagram users follow at least one business account, with 83% of Aussies on Instagram finding new products on the platform.
  • Aussies who shop online cite various reasons for why they do so. 76% of these consumers cite convenience, 50% get free deliveries, 45% say online shopping gives them lower prices, 37% receive discounts, and 30% appreciate the availability of price comparison.
  • 26% of online shoppers purchase products online to enjoy fast shipping services, 25% shop to find specific products, 13% love the possibility of free returns, and 10% shop online to have the convenience of other customers’ review.
  • Consumers depend on several things to get the products they are looking for online. 70% perform a direct search, 47% ask friends or family, 45% look into online stores and retail shops, while 36% explore online catalogues.
  • Convenience and trust significantly influence buying decisions. 27% of consumers would purchase a product without considering the price if they trust the brand.
  • 48% would pay a higher price to get products to make their lives simpler.
  • 70% say for first-time brand purchases, they usually conduct research first, before making the purchase decision.

User reward programs

  • 90% of Aussies who purchase products online have signed up for one or more shopping reward programs.
  • 55% are members of between one and three of these reward programs, 30% have subscribed to between 4 and 6 programs, 7% to between 7 and 9 programs and 8% of the shoppers have signed up to more than ten of the reward programs.
  • Nearly half (45%) of users signed up to reward programs have four or more cards.
  • Reward programs are associated with the confidence consumers have over the use of their personal data. 13% of users are ‘very concerned’ about how their personal data is used, 41% are ‘somewhat concerned’, and 32% are ‘not at all concerned’.
  • The proportion of users who are ‘very concerned’ rises with the age bracket; 10% of those between 18 – 29 years, 12% of the ones aged between 30-39 years, 13% for ages 40 to 49, 16% for 50-59 years and 17% for 60 to 70 years.
  • Not all users understand what the personal information collected is used for. Three out of ten of the users don’t really know if or not retailers share the personal data collected via reward programs.
  • 86% of the customers feel their personal data is channelled to targeted advertising, and 82% believe it is used to market products to them.

What are Aussies buying?

  • Between July 2020 and July 2021, 72% of consumers bought clothes, shoes, and other fashion products online.
  • 54% of the consumers purchased grocery, meals, and takeaway foods.
  • 45% of the users put their money into personal care and beauty, 43% into electronics and tech, 40% into books, toys, and games.
  • In addition, 34% bought home and garden products, 30% got alcoholic drinks, 26% purchased pet food, and 15% put their money into fitness and sporting goods.
  • Most of the clothing purchases are made by women, with eight out of ten of them done by females aged between 18 and 39.
  • Home and garden products are mostly scooped by persons between 50 and 59 years.
  • Women (61%) contribute hugely to the care and beauty products’ purchases done online.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • IAB Australia’s study conducted in July 2021 found that 39% of respondents had conducted online shopping in 2020.
  • For 45% of the respondents, the rate of online shopping increased this year, while it dropped for 15% of them.
  • Half of the respondents said they would integrate both online and physical stores shopping after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic scaled-up support for small businesses, with 34% of respondents saying they purchased more items online from small businesses over the pandemic period.
  • 46% said they bought more goods from local retailers over the said period.


  1. Online Shopping in Australia – Market Research Report
  2. Inside Australian Online Shopping – eCommerce Industry Report
  3. COVID-19 fuels e-commerce market in Australia
  4. COVID-19 pandemic reshaping e-commerce payments in Australia, says GlobalData
  5. Research confirms online shopping uptick but with increased consumer expectations of brands
  6. Buy Now, Pay Later looks here to stay – and here’s what you need to know
  7. The eCommerce market in Australia
  8. Trends in Ecommerce Australia
  9. COVID-19 to drive e-commerce growth in Australia at 10.3% CAGR through 2024, forecasts GlobalData.
  10. PayPal 2020 eCommerce Index in Australia
  11. Australian Payments Network Fraud Statistics Jul 19 – Jun 20
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