With a nation-wide 19.2% year-on-year growth, Australian retailers are spoiled for choice when it comes to tapping into new markets for their products. Along with category trends, like the exponential growth seen in online fashion and electronic marketplaces we are seeing new trends in buyer location.

On the state-to-state level, we see that some regions outperformed others; Queensland topped the charts at 21.8%, while Tasmania came in at a rather distant last place, 13.9% (a full three percent behind the rest of the competition)

Digging deeper into the numbers, we see that inner regional areas experienced greater growth than the national average—a sign that regional shoppers are closing in on their metro counterparts when it comes to online purchasing.

The influence of 18-36 demographic dominates the top 10 buyer locations

The top 10 online buying locations, by volume, were found in only 4 states; 3 each in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, with the final spot popping up in Western Australia. For the third year running, Point Cook in Melbourne’s west was the leading online shopping suburb – which comes as no surprise when the last census count reports Point Cook experiencing a growth of some twenty-two thousand new residents. In fact, the top 10 are largely dominated by suburbs that have seen an influx of not only new residents, but particularly new, young families in the past year.

Although it’s the 18-36 demographic that has shown itself to be a leading group in Australian eCommerce, young women in this group make up the larger share of online purchasing decisions than young men.

But, young, high-income couples typically spend more than any other group online. This group is a major factor behind the success of Victoria’s fastest-growing suburbs, like Hopper’s Crossing and Cranbourne. These areas have both seen greater than 27% year-on-year increases and are representative of the broader growth seen in inner regional areas. 

What about the young at heart?

It’s not just young families that are doing more online purchasing, though. The more mature folks from Queensland’s new entrant into the top 10, Bundaberg, are an average six years older than the national population; but hasn’t stopped them from embracing online shopping. Regional Queensland’s Bundaberg is an example of the broader growth in online purchasing across the nation.

Why are inner regional areas more active than metropolitan?

The lack of traditional retailers in regional areas has always been an opportunity for online businesses. People in these areas have often had to deal with big chain companies offering a limited range of products with few alternatives that aren’t hugely exciting. For the online etailer, this is an untapped goldmine – especially as more online marketplaces reach regional Australia, internet speeds reach almost okay and regional Australians become more comfortable trusting the online landscape.

Where the real opportunities lie

99.9% of global online spending happens outside of Australia

This isn’t to make us sound like small fish; it’s to bring awareness to the opportunities that are out there for Australian e-business owners. Our top five export markets—China, Japan, Republic of Korea, United States and India—are all leading the way.

But have you heard the good news? They love doing business with Aussies. Australian products have a reputation for their integrity and quality; something which is often lacking in other countries’ manufacturing, and businesses in the States, China and India are all eager to get their hands on more Aussies goods and services.

eCommerce is bringing the world closer together. Regional Australia suddenly isn’t so far away, and neither are our distant neighbours overseas. In a global eCommerce market worth USD$1.57 trillion (and expected to reach USD $2 trillion by 2019) it’s high time for us to share online goods and services more broadly.

As an eCommerce store owner, this means that you are able to reach a larger (and hungrier) market than ever.

For help on how to expand your stake in the online retail game, give us a call on  +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.

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