Australians pay for 48% with credit or debit cards for online transactions . They pay for 26% with a wallet, 9% by bank transfer, 1% with cash, and 16% by a variety of other means . Visa dominates the card market, with a 49% market share. Mastercard has 26% and American Express 6%. Local card schemes have a 19% market share .
Australia is an affluent market with high levels of Internet penetration and financial inclusion. By the middle of 2021, the outlook for recovery from the COVID pandemic was looking good. As with other countries, whether the bounce-back continues depends very much on how well the vaccine works against new variants. But signs are hopeful. And there is every prospect that the country’s e-commerce sector will continue to boom for the foreseeable future.
After dipping in 2021, retail sales value rose consistently during the first half of 2022 . However, much of this rise can be attributed to rising prices, rather than increased sales volumes . And there were clear signs of a possible slowdown, with volumes rising just 0.2% in the latest monthly figures .
The IMF expects the Australian economy to grow by 4.7% in 2022, falling to 4.2% in 2023 . Inflation in 2022 is 3.9% . The IMF predicts this will fall to 2.7% in 2023 . Unemployment has been 4% or slightly lower for some time . By the middle of 2022, inflation had hit 6.1%, a 21-year high .
The Australian e-commerce market
The average Australian online shopper spends $1,724 a year with online merchants . The national e-commerce market is worth $44 billion and is growing at a rate of 14.2% a year . The most popular purchase categories are food & personal care (26%), fashion (25%) and toys, hobby & DIY (19%) .
During lockdown, e-commerce in Australia — at least according to early reports — grew by 55% . More than 5.6 million Australian households shopped online, a 21% rise compared to before the pandemic struck . And 66% of Australians were still shopping online for non-essential items, even as lockdown came to an end .
43% of all Australian e-commerce transactions are completed on a mobile device . 63% of Australians have shopped online with cross-border merchants . Their commerce is worth around US$10.7 billion a year .
Local market conditions in Australia
Australia is 18th in the World Bank’s Global Logistical Performance Index. According to a report released at the end of 2020, the Australian parcel market is expected to grow by 5.46% a year between now and 2024, hitting a billion parcels in 2021 and continuing to growth thereafter .
In 2020, Australia Post — the national carrier — won the 2020 Parcel and Postal Technology Awards. It was singled out for its use of technology to deliver a pick-up-and-drop (PUDO) network. Using an app, customers can choose from a range of pick-up locations for their e-commerce purchases .
89% of Australians have fixed-line broadband access . Almost all adult Australians have a bank account and 59% have a credit card .