E-Commerce Sector in Australia

E-Commerce has changed the face of the Australian retail sector, representing a paradigm shift in the way consumers make transactions.

Market overview

Industry revenue has grown by an annualised 24.9% over the past five years to total £6.1 billion (AU$10.4 billion). It is anticipated that online retailing will continue to grow in popularity and demand over the next five years through to 2017-18 by an annualised 10.8% to total £10.6 billion (AU$18.2 billion).

Further aided by the strong Australian dollar and the exclusion of tax on imported items under £600 (AU$1000), more Australians are purchasing from international sites.

Key opportunities

  • Clothes, Sporting Equipment and Toys

The clothing sector continues to experience steady growth with 48% of Australians purchasing clothing items online within the last year. The online sporting goods sub-sector alone is expected to experience a 9.3% growth in revenue over 2012-2013.

  • Computer and Electrical Goods

This sector is anticipated to experience considerable growth over the next five years as consumers look to offshore sites for cheaper goods.

  • Social Media and Online Retailing

Social media is an ever pervasive force in Australia and is increasingly important in influencing consumer purchasing decisions. A recent report by PowerRetail identified 29% of Australian online shoppers follow an online shopping site on Facebook. Further the report found that Twitter users are 1.4 times more likely to make an online purchase than non-Twitter users.

  • Mobile E-Commerce (M-Commerce)

It is estimated that the number of mobile handsets with internet connectivity in Australia has tripled in the past year to around 9 million or 43% of all active mobile phones. This figure is anticipated to grow to 58% by the end of this year. Increasingly, Australians are utilising their mobile phones for purchasing goods and services online. It is anticipated that by 2014 there will be more mobile devices accessing the web than desktop PCs.

Latest Business Opportunities in Australia

Latest export opportunities in Australia

Getting into the market

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase sales in the Australian market is to adapt your website for Australian consumers. With the similarities in language and culture between the UK and Australia, adapting a website for the Australian audience is relatively straightforward. However, there are a number of slight differences a UK company must consider when marketing their site for Australian consumers. These include:

  • Dimensions and measurements

  • Credit card and payment mechanisms

  • Currencies – be sure to display prices in Australian dollars

  • Remember not to charge VAT

  • Be mindful of seasonality differences

  • Be explicit about returns policies

More about doing business in Australia


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Joanna Olivera, British Consulate Sydney. Tel: +61 (0)2 8247 2212 or email: [email protected].

  • Brooke Silvers, British Consulate Sydney. Tel: +61 (0)2 8247 2241 or email: [email protected].

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in Australia

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Technology
Countries: Australia
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