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Ecommerce Booming Down Under

High online buyer penetration and the growth of average sales per user spur sales

May 18, 2012

Ecommerce is booming worldwide, but especially so in Australia. eMarketer forecasts that B2C ecommerce sales in the country will rise from $10.5 billion in 2011 to $13.3 billion in 2012, an increase of 26.7%.

In the April 2012 issue of GroupM’s semi-annual report “This Year, Next Year,” the media investment management firm forecast total ecommerce in Australia to reach AU$36 billion ($37.1 billion) in 2012, up from AU$32 billion ($33.0 billion) in 2011. While GroupM’s absolute figures are more bullish, the growth rate is lower at 12.5%.

Although the two growth estimates show a huge variance, both figures are considerable. The increase is due to two factors: First, eMarketer estimates that online buyers will approach 70% of all internet users in 2012, for a total of 9.5 million. Second, GroupM estimates that the average consumer in Australia will spend $2,108 online in 2012, up nearly $100 from $2,011 in 2011.

Average B2C Ecommerce Spending per User in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific, 2006-2012

And the Australian market is wide open for foreign retailers, as well. According to Forrester’s April 2012 “Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2011-2016” report, having a local presence in Australia doesn’t necessarily give native retailers an advantage in ecommerce—innovative international sites that offer competitive value remain an important destination.

“US retailers have already targeted Australia, but there is plenty of room for expansion,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst. “Besides sharing linguistic and cultural affinities, Australia does not require duty on imports under AU$1,000 ($1,031). Plus, the strength of the Australian dollar further adds to the attractiveness of this market.”

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Check out today’s other articles, “Women Click on More Facebook Ads” and “Beam Looks to Digital to Extend the In-Person Experience.”

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