Unwrapping the gift of online shopping this Christmas

Media Release

Thursday 22 November 2018: This season, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan predict Australians will spend in excess of $51 billion over the pre-Christmas trading period from November 9 to December 25, 2018, with the ARA anticipating that online shopping will a popular preference for consumers this Christmas.

The ARA and Roy Morgan estimate Aussie consumers will spend over $7.3 billion in the ‘Other Retailing’ category this festive season, representing a 2.7% jump compared to the previous year.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said the ARA’s collective research from our partners at Neto and Hitwise indicate a gravitational shift towards shoppers turning to online platforms to hunt for the perfect gifts.

“Christmas is fast-becoming the most opportune season for shoppers to purchase gifts online, with online platforms offering convenience and a range of delivery options in the 24-hour marketplace,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Online shopping accounts for over $23 billion annually in Australia, and the ARA and Neto expect even more consumers to use online platforms to get in early and avoid the rush that occurs in the lead up to Christmas.”

While Boxing Day reigns supreme as the most favourable sales day over the holiday shopping season, newer sales days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on the incline, with recent data from Hitwise indicating a 20% year-on-year increase from the previous year. The ARA believe these sales days will encourage retailers to prepare for the upcoming festive season.

“This year, we will again see Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the pre-Christmas sales, and the ARA predicts these sales days will encourage retailers to prepare for the upcoming pre-Christmas scramble that occurs during the busy trading period.”

With Deloitte’s Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2018, highlighting that 79% of local retailers forecast online sales to increase by 10% or more over the Christmas period, the ARA believes there are strong indications that online sales growth will be a significant contributing factor to retailer success this Christmas.

Ryan Murtagh, Founder and CEO of Neto, said Neto’s latest State of E-Commerce Report cited substantial growth in online gifting this year, with the average basket size increasing to $130 , a 5% increase from the previous year.

“Over the last year, online retailing has experienced a 30% increase in sales compared to 2017, with fashion boasting the highest growth in sales with a 57% increase year-on-year. Homewares and Electronics follow closely behind with 13% average monthly sales increase across each category,” Mr Murtagh said.

The report also highlighted alternative payment options have recorded a 122% year-on-year increase compared to 2017, with many merchants adopting buy-now, pay-later services including Afterpay and ZipPay.

Mr Zimmerman said retailers who adopted these services will possess a significant advantage during the Christmas trading period this year.

“With a diverse range of viable payment options on offer from Buy Now, Pay Later services on the rise, merchants who offer these services to their consumers will reap the rewards of pre-Christmas sales,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“As the ARA already anticipate online retail sales to continue to increase immensely during this season, it seems likely that transactions through buy-now, pay-later services will contribute to this increase throughout the Christmas season and into the New Year.”

ARA Roy Morgan Pre-Christmas Sales Predictions: November 9 – December 24, 2018

2018 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by Category 

2018 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by State 


For more information on Christmas predictions and to keep up to date, please visit https://www.retail.org.au/christmas-predictions/

Please follow the links to view Neto’s 2018 State of eCommerce Report and Hitwise’s Top Trends To Think About This Holiday Season  and the Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2018.

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email media@retail.org.au.


About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.


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