Online retail sales grow four times faster than traditional counterparts

Online retail sales are growing nearly four times faster than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, surging 15.5 per cent in the year to April 2012 while traditional retail sales only rose by four per cent over the same period.

Online purchases totalled $11.1 billion this year and this figure is up from $10.5 billion in 2011, according to the National Bank of Australia's Online Retail Sales Index. More than three-quarters of thee sales came from domestic retailers, with online auctions, department stores, fashion and cosmetics accounting for the bulk of revenue.

In particular, consumers in their 30s and 40s are the biggest online spenders, followed closely by those under 30.

Although traditional retail sales still outstrip online sales significantly at $218 billion, the growing pace of the online sector means that traditional businesses should change their selling strategy if they want to compete in a changing consumer landscape, particularly if they want to snag a share of the youth market.

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