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There has never been a better time to be selling stuff online: online shopping just can’t stop booming!

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As more of us embrace browsing the internet, shopping and paying our bills there on a day-to-day basis, the online economy in Australia is enjoying a strong second wave of growth.

Like we told you last year, the pot of gold has moved from the end of the rainbow to e-commerce!

A study of online retail in Australia conducted from 2007 to 2013 as part of the World Internet Project (WIP) reveals a consistent pattern of large increases in the number of online purchases made by Australian consumers.

We have now reached an average annual expenditure of $2,616.

Just how well is the online economy in Australia performing?

Well, here are three findings that will definitely leave Aussies in e-commerce smiling:

  1. Three out of ten Australians now shop online every week, or more often, compared with two in ten New Zealanders and only one in ten Swiss.
  2. More Australians are buying their digital content – movies, books, music, games etc – online rather than in the traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
  3. Way more Aussies are using the internet for financial transactions than ever before.

Those making travel bookings online grew from 49 per cent in 2007 to 73 per cent in 2013, those paying bills grew from 43 per cent to 72 per cent and those purchasing event tickets from 36 per cent to 65 per cent. Talk about growing by leaps and bounds!

More internet users equals more internet shoppers

The WIP is conducted in 30 countries around the world to compare internet use. In Australia, 1000 people aged 18 or older have been surveyed annually since 2007.

“After an apparent plateau between 2009 and 2011, our latest survey confirms that online shopping by Australian consumers grew strongly again between 2011 and 2013,” says Dr Scott Ewing of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and Swinburne University of Technology.

The report indicates that in 2007, only 73 per cent of Australians were using the internet. This grew to 81 per cent in 2009, to 87 per cent in 2011 and in 2013 it clocked a massive 91 per cent! Meanwhile, the number of internet purchases grew by a whopping 46.2 per cent.

So internet shopping is growing here for two reasons – first because more people are using the internet, and second because more of those using the internet are purchasing online.

We are also relying more and more on the internet when deciding what to buy. Back in 2007, around 40 per cent of Australians never bothered looking for product information online before buying – but by 2013; this had dropped to only 16 per cent.

Basically, five Australians in every six are now seeking information online before they buy anything, and at least one in four buy something online at least once a week.

So umm… if you still don’t have a website for your business, what are you waiting for?

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