Key eCommerce insights

Australian online shopping reached an all-time high in 2020, with online purchases growing 57% year-on-year.1 An average of 1 million additional households shopped online every month compared to 2019 – reaching $50.46 billion total spend at the online checkout.2

Online share of retail spend hit 16.3% (excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food), outperforming the pre-pandemic predictions of 12-13%.2

YOY growth

Metro purchases up 60%1

Regional purchases up 50.7%1

Shopping frequency

On average, one million additional households shopped online each month in 2020, compared to 20191

First timers

1.36 million Aussies shopped online for the first time in 20203

The phenomenal rise of online shopping in 2020

Due to lockdowns and social distancing, people had little choice but to do more online. Behaviours changed, from how people shop for everyday goods, to how they pay for them.

April saw the first significant spike in online growth. Food & Liquor items and Home & Garden purchases more than doubled compared to 2019, and were the only categories which saw triple digit growth twice in 2020.

Use the graph below to explore eCommerce performance by state and category.1

eCommerce is maturing in Australia

Online shopping participation in Australia increased significantly in 2020. Around four in five households – that’s 9 million – bought something online at some point in the year.1

Home & Garden retailers saw one of the largest increases in participation, with over 1.6 million households buying from them in August and again in November.

Use the graph below to compare household participation throughout the year by category.1

Download the 2021 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report.

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1 Insights based on the extrapolation of 2019, 2020 and 2021 parcels data recorded by the Australia Post Group, unless otherwise stated. A full description of the methodology is available in Australia Post’s 2021 Inside Australian Online Shopping report or can be viewed on our website.

2 Online Physical Goods Index (produced by Quantium), and ABS Retail Trade s.a. excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, Feb 2021.

3 New online shoppers are defined as residential households that did not receive an eCommerce parcel in the previous 12-month period while regular shoppers are residential households that received an eCommerce parcel in 2019 and 2020.