At 9.4 percent of non-food sales, Australia’s rate of online sales penetration is among the world’s highest, according to analysis by Citigroup, which estimates the country’s market was worth A$11 billion-A$12 billion last year. The UK has the highest penetration rate at 12.3 percent, followed by South Korea with 10 per cent and the US at 9.8 percent.
Unlike the UK, Australian shoppers purchase more of their goods from overseas websites — primarily Amazon and eBay, which, according to analysts, together account for 35-40 percent of online sales in Australia.
Citi estimates that one third, or A$3.7 billion-A$4 billion, of online retail sales are transacted on non-Australian websites.
The trend in part reflects the fact that prices for products such as cosmetics, books and consumer electronics can be as much as 50 percent higher in Australia than on offshore websites.
The reasons for this include the strength of the Australian dollar, which even after a recent 10 percent retreat is still close to parity with its US counterpart; the high wholesale prices paid by local retailers; and a loophole exempting foreign websites from charging a 10 percent general sales tax on purchases under A$1,000.Page 2 of 4 | Prev Page | Next Page