Online sales in Australia are growing

Online sales in Australia are growing strongly, but most retail sales are still made in brick- and-mortar stores, a new survey released on Monday by National Australia Bank (NAB) found.

The inaugural NAB Online Retail Sales Index recorded a 29 percent growth in online spending in 2011, valuing online sales in Australia at 10.5 billion AU dollars (11.22 billion U.S. dollars) for the year, NAB said in a statement.

The index also found that online sales accounted for only 4.9 percent of Australia’s retail spending, with over 95 percent of retail sales made through actual stores.

Almost three-quarters of online sales were made through Australian-based retailers, the survey found.

However, the growth rate for international sales was higher, up 40 percent in 2011, while domestic sales grew by 25 percent.

NAB Head of Consumer Sectors David Thorn said the index provided retailers with information and insight into consumer behavior and trends online.

“Changing consumer preferences and spending habits are, no doubt, causing some structural changes in the retail sector,” he said.

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