Since a quarter of all local online payments are processed by eWay, the company is in a good position to report on trends.
eWay's Online Retail Report for the first quarter of 2015 shows a total spend of $4.37 billion, up from $3.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.
And even though the fourth quarter is the big one for retailers - all that Christmas shopping plus pre-holiday purchases - the quarter-on-quarter change was only -6.9%, leading eWay to predict a record year for online spending.
The high rankings of the two CBDs probably relates to the high density of employees having parcels shipped to their work addresses, and to the recent growth in the residential population of our city centres.
But the two CBDs swap around when you look at transaction values. Sydney's average is $285 compared with Melbourne's $160.
Among the other stats in the report:
- Toowoomba, Queensland, is the top regional centre for online consumers.
- Tuesdays saw the highest volume of daily sales during the quarter, but only by a narrow margin.
- The 6pm - 9pm time slot accounts for 20.5% of all sales (so maybe people aren't wasting too much of their employers' time by shopping at work after all).
- The top performing categories for 1Q15 were household items, discount stores (despite a modest year-in-year decrease), electronics, travel and education.
- Restaurant sales were up a whopping 151% - it's not clear from eWay's media release, but we suspect the growing use of online ordering for takeaway food (e.g., Menulog) and drinks (e.g., Beat the Q) is playing a part.
Sales from Australian merchants to overseas customers are improving. "With the Australian dollar down substantially on this time last year, the dollar value of physical purchases sent to international postcodes is up almost 30%, said eWay founder and CEO Matt Bullock.
"There is a clear window of opportunity for small businesses to open up their offering to global markets, if they are not already.
"The increasingly sophisticated and cheap postage services make this more feasible than ever."