Online retail to grow 40 percent by 2012

By David Olsen

Online retail is expected to grow by 40 percent by 2012 according to research released alongside the Online Retailer Expo and Conference in Sydney. The ecommerce industry in Australia has seen rapid growth over the last year and is forecast to reach $33.8 billion by 2012 up from $AU24 billion last year.

In the last six months alone, traditional bricks and mortar retailers in Australia such as BigW have extended their presence online, providing a significant boost to the industry. Globally, consumers are expected to spend $119 billion by 2015 through their mobile phones, accounting for about eight percent of all e-commerce activity, making it a valuable channel for retailers. Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director, PayPal, suggested caution when interpreting the results and urges Australian retailers to catch up to the international trend for online retailing.

“Whilst the Australian eCommerce industry is growing, it is still significantly lagging behind the rest of the world with Australia’s domestic retail spend online half of what it is in countries such as the UK and USA.  As Australian retailers struggle to build effective online presence, overseas competitors are taking advantage of the gap in the Australian market and are currently taking around 40 per cent of Australia’s online retail spend.”

Feller continued: “There is a huge opportunity for retailers to capitalise on the growing online marketplace in Australia. In the last six months alone the average consumer spent $1,223 on online shopping, an increase of $130 from the second half of 2009.”