More Australians are turning to online shopping to buy their Christmas gifts, spending an average of $200 each.

Australian shoppers are expected to buy 30 per cent more gifts online this Christmas compared with last year, according to new Australia Post research.

The spending spree comes as Australia Post is expecting its busiest Christmas ever, delivering more than 2 million parcels a day at its peak – that’s more than 2700 a minute. Almost 3000 extra people have been hired to meet the demand.

Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer, Bob Black, said posties and delivery drivers were already delivering a high number of parcels, with many Australians starting their Christmas shopping earlier each year.

“Christmas is always our busiest time of the year and this year it will be even busier, with our research showing that almost one in three Australian consumers expect to do more Christmas shopping online this year than last Christmas,” he said.

“November is when we start to see parcel volumes really ramp up, with most Australians starting their online shopping now. However, we start delivering Christmas gifts as early as September, with more than 10 per cent of Australians starting their festive shopping in that month.”

The research involved a survey of more than 2000 Australia Post customers. More than 66 per cent of respondents said they would buy gifts online this Christmas to avoid crowds, with the other main reasons being the ability to shop where they want (53 per cent) and to access better prices (45 per cent).

Black said toys and games were the most popular gifts bought online for Christmas, with 48 per cent of people saying they would purchase them online. Fashion and jewellery was the second most popular gift buying category, accounting for 38 per cent of Christmas gift purchases, closely followed by homewares and appliances at 31 per cent.

“Australian shoppers will spend on average $200 each buying gifts online this Christmas – and our research shows that we love buying for others first before treating ourselves,” Black said.

“Almost 45 per cent of Australians shop for children first, followed by their partner (35 per cent). Mum has the edge over dad, with 22 per cent of Australians buying for her first, compared to dad at 14 per cent. Then about 44 per cent of us, treat ourselves last.”

Black said Australians have many Christmas delivery options, including weekend deliveries and extended trading hours, and access to year-round delivery choices including free 24/7 parcel lockers, PO Boxes, or they can send their parcels directly to one of 3600 post offices.

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