Though smaller in population than some emerging B2C ecommerce countries, advanced infrastructure and consumer behaviour favour online retail in Australia and New Zealand, says a latest report by Hamburg-based business intelligence organization yStats.com.
One interesting aspect which has emerged from the report is that, while fashion apparel emerges as one of the top physical product categories among Aussies, the same product is far behind food and beverages categories among New Zealanders in total online sales.
In context to Australia, the report says Australia ranks among the top five countries in B2C ecommerce sales in the Asia-Pacific Region. It has one of the most developed infrastructures, with internet penetration reaching over 80% of the total population and ranking third in the region.
High smartphone penetration in Australia contributes to strong growth rates of mcommerce sales, estimated at double-digit percentage rates for the next three years as close to 50% of the traffic to online shopping websites comes from mobile users, the report mentions.
In regards to product categories in online purchases in Australia, travel accounts for around a quarter of total B2C ecommerce sales. The two most purchased physical product categories are electronics and fashion products, each accounting for over a 10% share of total sales.
An important feature of the market is the high share of cross-border sales. Australian shoppers are among the most active worldwide in terms of buying from foreign online merchants with imports accounting for over half of all online retail sales in the country.
It lists global leading players such as Amazon and eBay among the most visited websites in the country, with local traditional retailers with online presence like Woolworths, Big W, Coles, JB Hi-Fi, Target and Harvey Norman, making their way to the top 10 most popular shopping websites.
On New Zealand, the report says active online shoppers and an advanced infrastructure have allowed New Zealand to rank among the top 20 countries worldwide in B2C ecommerce potential despite the island nation’s small population size.
Internet connectivity is well adopted in New Zealand and over half of adult population buys online. B2C ecommerce accounts for a high one-digit percentage of the total retail sales in the country.
Proliferation of online shopping on foreign websites is a trend in New Zealand, with over one third of all sales generated across the borders and the growth rate of cross-border shopping outpaces local online sales, the report avers.
Interestingly, a significant share of online retail market in New Zealand is held by specialized food, groceries and liquor, which according to some estimates are even ahead of consumer electronics and fashion in terms of market share.
Online marketplace Trade Me is the most popular destination for online shoppers, followed by a major retailer, the Warehouse, which has recently increased investment in development of its online retail channel.