Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Roy Morgan Research has released the State of the Nation Report (No. 12), which looks at the latest Australian trends within society, technology, the environment, politics and the economy.  This report includes a special focus on Online Shopping, revealing how big the online retail market is in the context of the total retail market, the growth rate, where the money is being spent, which segments of the population are spending and how best to reach them.

For many years, Roy Morgan Research has been capturing data about the many digital touchpoints that are dramatically affecting the habits, attitudes and behaviour of Australia’s Connected Consumers.  Many of the findings of the recently released ‘The Digital Universe’ report provide new insights in the Spotlight on Online Shopping.

The online retail market in Australia is having a big impact on traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailing with online sales up 14.2% to $22.8 billion in the 12 months to June 2012, compared to a growth rate of only 3.3% in total retail sales and this is equivalent to 9% of total volume.

Around one third (32.9%) of the Australian population buys something online over an average four week period and well over half (56.7%) have ever bought something online, up from only 29.7% seven years ago.

Online spending is heavily skewed to big spenders with only 11.7% of the population accounting for 43.4% of the total online sales volume in an average four week period.

Travel is the online market leader: spending on travel online is the biggest category with nearly $6 billion or 26.1% of the total.

‘Entertainment and Leisure’ is the most popular category purchased by 46.9% of online shoppers over an average four week period and accounting for 16.9% of the total online spend.

Early Adopters of new technology are higher users of online shopping.  Although demographics account for a large part of the difference in online spending, it also depends on how people are predisposed to adopting new technology.

Based on the ‘Roy Morgan Technology Adoption Segments’, the group that is first to adopt any new technology (‘Technology Early Adopters’) make up 17% of the population yet account for 30.7% of online sales.  They also have the highest incidence of online shopping, with 56.3% having shopped online in an average four week period.

This holistic understanding of the rapidly changing online market is based on analysis of the Roy Morgan Research Single Source Survey conducted with over 50,000 Australians 14+ per year.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With sales totalling $22.8b in 2012, online purchasing is radically transforming Australians’ shopping habits.  eBay is now Australia’s No.1 shopping mall, with more visitors in an average 4 weeks than all Westfield shopping centres nationally.

“Travel is the biggest single category in online retail, accounting for nearly $6b (26%) of the total, while ‘Entertainment & Leisure’ with a lower average cost is the most frequently purchased category, attracting nearly half of all online shoppers in an average four week period.

“The influence of the internet and other digital touchpoints are dramatically influencing retailing, often in ways that are not immediately obvious.  Almost half (47%) of Australians research online but still buy offline.  Online catalogues, reviews and price comparison websites can often predetermine the brand choice before the customer even enters the store.

“Any business today that exists because its ‘customers do not know any better’, ‘don’t know their prices are too high’ or ‘the product or service is sub-standard’, probably won’t be in business for long.”

From midnight Thursday 20 September you can view a video presentation of highlights from the report by Michele Levine at

Michele Levine will be available from 7AM (AEST) on September 20 & 21 for interviews about the State of the Nation Report.  We are able to discuss our findings at a national and state level or focus in on any particular aspect of Society, Technology, Environment, Politics and Economy.

To view a confidential copy of the full State of the Nation Report 12 – Spotlight on Online Shopping please contact us.

For comments or more information please contact:

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research

Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5215

Mobile: +61 411 129 093

Email: [email protected]

File Library

Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


National, Trends, eCommerce, Retail, Society, Politics



More Formats

View QR Code