Online sales dip in December
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Australians' online sales dipped in December as shoppers bought their festive gifts in November so they would be delivered in time for Christmas.
The National Australia Bank Online Retail Sales Index showed that internet sales growth eased to 23 per cent year-on-year in December, down from 27 per cent in November.
The rate of growth was still considered robust compared to the previous year and the fall was seasonal as shoppers tend to buy more online in October and November in order for gifts to arrive before Christmas.
"This was a seasonal move, with November being the peak month for online retail sales, which allows time for goods to be delivered ahead of Christmas," NAB chief economist Alan Oster said.
Australian spent $12.8 billion in online sales during 2012, which was around 5.8 per cent of the amount spent in the traditional bricks and mortar for the 12 months to November.
However, the rate of growth for online sales continues to outperform bricks and mortar retailers which increased 2.5 per cent year-on-year seasonally adjusted in November.
In the 12 months to October, domestic sales accounted for 73 per cent of all online sales.
The survey also found there was a large volume of low value online transactions in December such as toys, games, music, movies and books.
This sector accounted for 22 per cent of total spending but almost 69 per cent of all transactions.
There was also a significant increase in this sector on Christmas day primarily due to eBooks and digital music downloads being downloaded onto devices given as gifts.
The average transaction size for all online purchases fell in December to $41, down from $43 the previous month which the index attributed to low inflation.
Online sales also increased after Christmas with the traditional sales spreading to the internet in a more significant way than previous years.