What’s in this report

About this report

Welcome to the 9th edition of the Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, an in-depth study into consumer buying behaviours and trends.

To provide insights into the current and future state of commerce, this report uses information from a range of sources, including delivery data from the Australia Post Group.


Welcome to the 2024 Australia Post eCommerce Industry Report

In 2023, we saw a period of moderation in retail activity as Australian consumers and retailers adapted to changed economic conditions.

Auspost Ecommerce Report
Read full Forward

Executive Summary

Online retail is here to stay

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Rising costs may have impacted shopping behaviour – but not necessarily in the way you think. Consumers are changing what, where and how they shop online, leading to a big shift in the Australian retail market.

Read full Executive Summary
state of ecommerce

State of

Dive into the shopping carts of Australian consumers as we uncover the surprising insights from online and in-store spending data in 2023.

How did retail do in 2023?

Growth in retail spend decelerated in 2023, with year-on-year (YoY) growth dropping from an exceptional 9.3% to a modest 2.0%4, below the pre-COVID average.

This shift presented considerable challenges for both retailers and consumers. Consumers were strategic with their purchases and showed a hesitancy to spend, particularly on non-essential items. For the first time in five years, non-discretionary spend growth outpaced discretionary spend growth5.

Retailers did their best to adapt. Some adopted long-term initiatives to drive down costs and improve productivity, while others offered deeper discounting in the short term to manage inventory and boost foot traffic.

Looking ahead, interest rate adjustments, moderating inflation6, predicted income growth7 and stage three tax cuts are expected to ease economic challenges and enhance consumer spending power by an estimated $50 billion in FY 20257. Coupled with population growth, these factors are anticipated to drive overall growth and provide some relief for retailers by the end of 2024.

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Aussies spent

$ b3

on retail goods in 2023, only 2%4 more than in 2022.

  • Discretionary spend growth YoY 2023 +1.1%
  • Non-discretionary spend growth YoY 2023 +10.7%
Australia Post Ecommerce Report 2024

What did we spend online?

Spending may be flat but we’re shopping online more often

Consumers chose to make more frequent but smaller purchases, with an average basket size of $98.10, down by 4.6% from last year8.

As people looked for better deals, Variety Stores, especially Online Marketplaces, saw a surge in online spending, up by 9.1%8. The only other type of store to see growth in 2023 was Food & Liquor, mostly because more people were buying groceries online.

In 2023, Australians spent

$ b


  • Spend Share (%)
  • YoY Change (%)
  • $16.0b -7.6%
  • $15.8b 9.1%
  • $13.2b 2.4%
  • $9.6b -8.7%
  • $3.9b -2.0%
  • $2.9b -2.0%
  • $1.6b -1.8%

  • Home & Garden
  • Variety Stores
  • Food & Liquor
  • Fashion
  • Hobbies & Rec. Goods
  • Health & Beauty
  • Books, Print and Stationery

The evolution of eCommerce in Australia

Even though growth in online shopping seems to have slowed after the COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce continues to hold a significant portion of total retail spending.

Retailers have been focusing on creating smooth shopping experiences that blend online and in-store options to attract customers back to physical stores. However, it’s clear that online shopping continues to be an essential part of the Australian retail landscape.

Online share of retail spend:

line graph line graph


The gradual rise

Consumers and retailers embraced digital retail channels for convenience. Shoppers increasingly favoured eCommerce platforms, marking a shift towards a digital-first approach in consumer shopping behaviour.


BNPL and Amazon come on the scene

Buy now pay later (BNPL) payments grew in popularity in 2017. Afterpay reached 2.3 million customers by the middle of 201810. By December 2017, Amazon entered the arena, driving even greater growth in online retailing.


The COVID-19 effect

eCommerce underwent a major transformation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a significant surge in online shopping. By September 2021, online spending reached its peak with 1 in 4 retail dollars being spent online, making eCommerce an integral aspect of daily life.


The new normal

Online shopping has firmly established itself as the ‘new normal’ in Australian retail and an integral part of the retail fabric. eCommerce adoption is expected to continue rising steadily.

More households are shopping online
than ever before

8 in 10 Australian households shopped online in 2023. That’s 9.5 million households (+1.4% YoY) across the nation that received a parcel in 2023.

We’ve seen significant progress over the years. Compared to 2019, there are now an additional 1.5 million households choosing to do their retail shopping online. In 2023, on average there were 5.6 million households that made an online purchase each month.

  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023

In the past few years, rural areas have seen more growth in households shopping online than metro areas. They’ve experienced a significant 18% increase since 2019, while metro areas have seen a 16% growth rate.

  • Regional +18%
  • Metro +16%
Inside Australian Online Shopping 2024

Aussies are purchasing online more often

Approximately 1 in 7 Australian households made weekly online purchases, illustrating the growing reliance on eCommerce in everyday life.

Repeat purchasing intensified, as the number of purchases per household went up. Households that shopped 26-51 times a year increased by 2% while the group of most frequent shoppers, who made over 52 purchases annually, increased by 1%.

Handy Hint

Offer frequent shoppers personalised experiences to build loyalty, improve customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases.

  • -2%
1-3 times
  • -2%
4-11 times
  • 0%
12-25 times
  • +2%
26-51 times
  • +1%
52+ times
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023

Where are we seeing the greatest growth?

Western Australia led the way in 2023 with the highest YoY growth in online purchases (5.1%).

The Northern Territory, though often under-reported on, came in second with an impressive 4.6% growth in online purchases.

Queensland and Tasmania also did well, each with 4.3% growth. South Australia joined in with a 2.8% increase, reinforcing the nationwide move towards online shopping.

However, in Victoria and New South Wales – which are big economic players – there was a downturn in the amount people bought online. Victoria’s online purchases decreased by 1.0% and New South Wales saw a 2.1% drop. These decreases seem to match a trend where online shopping is going back to normal after an unprecedented surge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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National average 0.82%

  • WA
  • NT
  • TAS
  • QLD
  • SA
  • VIC
  • NSW
  • ACT

Top locations for online shopping

Top locations by volume

  • Point Cook VIC3030
  • Toowoomba QLD4350
  • Point Cook VIC3029

Top locations by volume per capita

  • Macleay Island QLD4184
  • Mount Duneed VIC3217
  • Mooloolah Valley QLD4553

Top growth suburbs by volume

  • Fraser Rise VIC3336
  • Waterford West QLD4133
  • Woodford QLD4514
Australia Post Online Shopping

How sales events are transforming the eCommerce landscape

Online sales events accelerated in popularity in 2023, becoming almost like traditions for Aussie shoppers.

The year’s standout event, Black Friday, saw a huge 88% leap in number of online purchases compared to 2019, as shoppers turn to sales events for the best deals. Cyber Monday also did well, with a 70% volume increase over 2019. Boxing Day and End of Financial Year Sales (EOFYs) also saw significant growth, with 67% and 75% volume increases since 2019, respectively.

Growth in online purchases during sales events (2023 vs 2019)

  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022

Here are 3 tips for building your 2024 sales strategy:

Online Retail Sales Australia

1. Strategically time sales

Leverage data analytics to identify the most opportune times to run promotions, and then tailor the deals to specific audience segments to maximise relevance and engagement during sales events.

Online Retail Sales Australia

2. Offer early access

Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency by offering personalised invitations or exclusive discounts to loyal customers. This tactic can drive anticipation and encourage sign-ups to your email database.

Inside Australian Online Shopping

3. Leverage influencers

Collaborate with social media influencers to maximise your impact during sales events. Tailor your collaborations to specific age groups, ensuring resonance with your target audience. For instance, partnering with younger influencers can significantly influence Gen Y and Gen Z shoppers.

Online Shopping Trends Australia

Across the Generations

The eCommerce world continues to evolve, with more opportunities predicted for 2024. Here’s what you should know to stay competitive in a challenging market.

Consumer spending by generation

Online spending totalled $63.6 billion in 20238. But when we dig deeper, there are surprising insights to be found about the shopping habits of each generation.

In today’s economy, younger generations are cutting back in response to challenging financial conditions. With uncertain job markets and increasing debt, they’re choosing smaller, budget-friendly purchases like fast fashion and affordable lifestyle products.

Meanwhile, older generations, with stable finances and established careers, continue to spend generously – particularly on home and garden items. This highlights a clear generational gap in spending habits driven by economic conditions and priorities.

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Gen Z

  • Ages in 2024: 18 – 26
  • Birth years: 2006 – 1998

Total online spend:$10.6b

YoY change in online spend:-11%

Average basket size for online spend:$80

YoY change in basket size:-6%

Gen Y

  • Ages in 2024: 27 – 43
  • Birth years: 1997 – 1981

Total online spend:$22.1b

YoY change in online spend:-2%

Average basket size for online spend:$95

YoY change in basket size:-6%

Gen X

  • Ages in 2024: 44 – 59
  • Birth years: 1980 – 1965

Total online spend:$17.5b

YoY change in online spend:+1%

Average basket size for online spend:$110

YoY change in basket size:-5%

Baby Boomers

  • Ages in 2024: 60 – 78
  • Birth years: 1964 – 1946

Total online spend:$12.5b

YoY change in online spend:7%

Average basket size for online spend:$109

YoY change in basket size:-3%

Gen Z


Gen Y

Home & Garden (23%)
Speciality Food
& Liquor (23%)

Gen X

Home & Garden


Home & Garden

  • Gen Z

    $2.4b $2.7b $1.7b $0.7b $2.4b $0.5b $0.2b Total $10.6b
  • Gen Y

    $5.1b $5.8b $5.1b $1.3b $3.4b $0.9b $0.5b Total $22.1b
  • Gen X

    $4.8b $4.2b $3.7b $1.2b $2.3b $0.8b $0.5b Total $17.5b
  • Boomers

    $3.6b $2.8b $2.8b $0.8b $1.4b $0.6b $0.5b Total $12.5b
  • Home & Garden
  • Variety Stores
  • Food & Liquor
  • Hobbies & Rec. Goods
  • Fashion
  • Health & Beauty
  • Books, Print & Stationery
Australia Ecommerce Market AusPost

How the generations shop

All value sustainability, younger shoppers (like Gen Z and Gen Y) switch for faster delivery and Boomers are warming up to online shopping.

Gen Z (18-26)

Handy Hint

Tap into Gen Z’s passion for the environment by clearly stating your sustainability goals on your website. Offering a seamless returns policy will attract them, too.


Loves shopping online, with 21% of their purchases happening on the internet8.


93%would rather shop from brands that align with their sustainable values.


67% are the masters of switching retailers for a faster shipping thrill!

16% value the convenience of adding Parcel Locker locations in the Australia Post App2.


51% are riding the return wave, indicating a strong inclination for sending items back.

Gen Y (27-43)

Handy Hint

For enthusiastic Gen Ys looking for a quick parcel delivery, consider offering Australia Post’s Metro or Express Post delivery options at checkout for expedited shipping.


The online shopping champions, spending 23% of their retail budget online more than any other generation!8


82%prefer shopping from brands that match their sustainable values.


57% feel the need for speed and are ready to switch retailers for faster shipping.

24% love the ability to rename their deliveries in the Australia Post App (with so many parcels, no wonder!)2


44% are embracing the return game, opting to send items back.

Gen X (44-59)

Handy Hint

Appeal to value-driven Gen Xs by offering free shipping promotions, particularly around a certain spend, and clearly communicate these incentives to encourage larger purchases.


Demonstrates an interest in online shopping, with a steady online spending rate of 19%8.


66%care about shopping from brands that align with their sustainability values.


Just 31% are up for the retailer-switching game in pursuit of faster delivery.

34% highly value the push notifications and real-time updates from the Australia Post App2.


34% are riding the return wave, indicating a strong inclination for sending items back.

Baby Boomers (60-78)

Handy Hint

Build trust by creating a fully accessible and easy end-to-end experience on your website. Including a note about data security at checkout gives Boomers added confidence to shop online, too.


Gradually embracing online shopping with 14% of their retail purchases now made online8.


63%will opt for brands that match their sustainability values.


A mere 17% are ready to shake things up and switch retailers for a taste of faster delivery.

63% find the ability to automatically track parcels in the one spot the most important feature of the Australia Post App2.


21% are returning items to retailers, with the majority sticking with their purchases.

Australia Ecommerce Market

Future of eCommerce

Retail industry expert, Paul Zahra, shares what’s ahead for eCommerce – including the evolving trends that will redefine the way we shop and connect.

The last word from Paul Zahra

Our retail sector is dynamic and ever evolving. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated trends that were already occurring in the industry, and one of those was the growth in online shopping.

Inside Australian Online Shopping
Read full summary


From interviews to statistics, we aim to provide retailers with the relevant shopping insights so they can find their ideal retail strategy.

Read full Methodology

Australia Post Ecommerce Report 2024

References # Disclaimer


  • Gary Starr EGM, Parcel, Post & eCommerce Services
  • Aimee Dixon GM, Enterprise, Brand & Retail Marketing
  • Alexandra Oke Content Manager
  • Rose Yip Head of Insights, Strategy & Planning
  • Manan Younas Analyst
  • Phillip Ngo Analyst
  • Lauren Baker Head of Customer Insights
  • Janet Cheng Research & Insights Manager
  • Kevin Choo Research & Insights Manager


  • 1. Australia Post Omnibus SMB Survey, Nov 2023
  • 2. Australia Post Omnibus Consumer Survey, Nov 2023
  • 3. Retail Trade Australia (seasonally adjusted) excluding cafes, restaurants & takeaway food services, ABS, 2023
  • 4. Retail Trade Australia (seasonally adjusted) excluding cafes, restaurants & takeaway food services, YoY change, ABS, 2023
  • 5. Household discretionary and non-discretionary spending index (calendar adjusted), YoY change, ABS, 2023
  • 6. Consumer Price Index, RBA, Dec 2023
  • 7. Australian Retail Outlook – Position for FY25 rebound, Citi Research.
  • 8. CommBank iQ. Consumer spend & online transactions percentage is based on banking transaction data (debits/ credit cards BPAY, direct debit) and estimation for buy now pay later payments. Online physical goods spend in CY23.
  • 9. Retail Trade Australia, online retail turnover Australia by type of activity percentage of total Australian retail turnover, ABS, 2023
  • 10. Afterpay Annual Report, ASX, FY2018
  • 11. Australia Post Insights into Loyalty Programs, Oct 2023
  • 12. Resale Market in Australia, Statista, Jan 2024
  • 13. Greenwashing by Businesses in Australia Report, ACCC, Mar 2023
  • 14. 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report, Microsoft