Big-spending readers get

Online retail spending is growing at five times the rate of traditional shopping. TANYA SHINN discovers one-in-three say a news media ad has prompted them to go online for more information –outperforming TV, radio, catalogues and social media.

INFOGRAPHIC_ONLINE SHOPPING_2016_DIGITALOnline spending is booming with June retail figures showing annual growth of 13.5 per cent, and sales exceeding $20 billion, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index.1

Its market share is less than 10 per cent of store-based sales ($296.9 billion) but is growing five times faster. 2

The latest figures from emma show nearly nine-in-ten have made an online purchase with one-in-three doing so in the last four weeks.


Most consumers are 30-44. Some 71 per cent of them have shopped online in the last three months, compared with 66 per cent of 14-29s.

The 30-44 segment spends mostly on fashion (31%), books (28%) and music (24%). Those aged 18-24 spend predominantly on fashion (31%) and electronics (24%).

Claims that women drive shopping trends (because they control most of the household budget) do not hold here, according to the data. Women are less likely to have bought online in the last 4 weeks (34% vs. 37%).

Shopping lists

Looking at purchasing trends by category, significant shifts in the online retailing landscape are materialising. Researcher Nielsen says consumers are for the first time purchasing more clothing, shoes and accessories than travel related purchases.2

Food and beverage experienced a significant jump with 15 per cent of consumers making a purchase in this category in the past 12 months – up 23 per cent from last year. This result has been driven by increases in male shoppers aged over 40.

The numbers of customers purchasing skincare and haircare products have also shown strong growth as 325,000 more shoppers went online in the past year.

While women still make up the bulk of shoppers in this category at 75 per cent, the number of men under 40 has increased by 23 per cent (+68,000).

Tops shopping sites

International retailers continue to attract larger numbers of shoppers than Australian sites (5.4m vs. 6.6m). Two-in-five (41%)  visited eBay in the last 12 months, compared with 9 per cent who have gone to top-rated domestic site, JB Hi-Fi.

Electronics retailers and daily deals sites, such as Catch of the Day, are the most popular domestic destinations, accounting for four of the top five domestic sites.

Affluent shoppers can pay dividends for advertisers

Marketers looking to reach high-value shoppers should incorporate news media advertising in to their media plan. emma shows that during their last visit to a retail site readers spent significantly more than non-readers.

  • 33% more on homewares,
  • 15% more on fashion (clothing, footwear, accessories),
  • 12% more on food and beverage, and
  • 11% more on furniture

When you add up their increased spend, it comes to nearly $1,200 a year more than non-readers.

Dial-up campaigns

News media offers incredible reach, with 93 per cent of Australians reading news media in the past month.

Reaching large numbers of potential buyers is an important component of effective advertising but, for marketers, ensuring they get their message in front of the right consumers is paramount.

Retailers can use news media to reach consumers who frequently shop online. Some 47% of readers have visited an online retailer in the past week.

One-in-three say a news media ad has prompted them to go online for more information, outperforming television, radio and catalogues and social media.

Nine-in-ten of the top quintile of spenders in the fast-growing food and beverage and personal care categories have read news in print or digital formats in the last four weeks.

Some 4.6 million of those in the key 30-44 segment engaged with news media in print or on their smartphone or laptop, while 4.1 million in the second-most active shopping segment, the 14-29s, did the same.



  1. National Australia Bank (NAB), Online Retail Sales Index, June 2016.
  2. Nielsen, Information is Crucial for Online Australian Shoppers, April 2016.

All other figures from emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending July 2016; Nielsen DRM July 2016, People 14+ only.


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