New research from Roy Morgan shows that over the year to March 2018, 9.46 million Australians 14+ (46.8%) purchased something online in an average four week period, an increase of 590,000 in just 12 months. It also represents an increase of 2.3 million since 2014.
These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of over 50,000 consumers conducted in the 12 months ended March 2018, including over 5,000 online shoppers.
What Australians are buying online
Entertainment and Leisure items account for the greatest number of internet shoppers, with 4.5 million people buying something from this category in any given four weeks, followed by Fashion (2.7 million), Food and Beverages (2.4 million) and Reading Material (2.2 million).
Online shopping has risen for every product category in the chart except for Furniture. Between 2017 and 2018, Fashion Shoppers (2.7m) and Health and Beauty products (1.4m) both increased sales by 21.1% over the year, with Entertainment and Leisure up by 11.1%.
Online shopping product categories purchased in average four weeks
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) 12 months ended March 2018, n = 50,014.
Online shopping still more the domain of the tech savvy but is becoming mainstream
While online shopping is gaining ever-increasing momentum with Australian consumers from all walks of life, those most likely to make purchases this way still tend to be from the more technologically savvy end of the spectrum. Indeed, viewing these consumers through the lens of Roy Morgan’s Technology Adoption Segments reveals that nearly half of all online shoppers (49.1%) fall under the umbrella of either Technology Early Adopters or Professional Technology Mainstream, the two most digitally inclined segments of the population.
As their name suggests, Technology Early Adopters are always the first to purchase and use new technologies, and tend to be well educated and high-earning.
Whereas they comprise 19.4% of the overall Australian population, they account for 28.9% of all people who buy something online in an average four weeks.
Similarly, the ambitious, early-adopting Professional Technology Mainstream comprise just 16.1% of the population but 20.2% of all online shoppers. Meanwhile, the less switched-on Technology Traditionalists and Technophobes are under-represented among Australia’s online shoppers.
Proportion of online shoppers by Technology Adoption Segments*
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April - March 2018 (n = 50,014). *NB: Overall population breakdown of Technology Adoption Segments are as follows: Technology Early Adopters: 19.4%; Professional Technology Mainstream: 16.1%; Digital Life: 17.0%; Older Tech Explorers: 9.0%; Technology Traditionalists: 23.2%; Technophobes: 15.3% Base: Australians 14+ buying on the internet in last 4 weeks, n = 5,787
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says:
“The data is unequivocal, Australians can’t get enough of shopping online. In any given four-week period, more and more of us are purchasing products as diverse as entertainment, clothing, food, reading matter, health and beauty products, furniture, and electronics via the internet. With nearly 9.5 million Australians or 46.8% purchasing online in an average four week period and the rapid growth over recent years, this is a retail revolution.
“This rapid growth represents a major opportunity for the growth of Amazon when it develops its full product offering. Australian bricks and mortar retailers are under considerable pressure from overseas and local online retailers.
“Understanding the technology-specific attitudes and behaviours characterising each Technology Adoption Segment is a great way for online retailers to target their best prospects, approach their marketing decisions more strategically and ensure they’re ready for the challengers ahead, particularly from Amazon. Next week we will explore more about Amazon Today– and how Australians feel about it.”
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Margin of Error
The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.
|Sample Size||Percentage Estimate|
|40% – 60%||25% or 75%||10% or 90%||5% or 95%|