Black Friday sales helped lift Australian retail spending in November, as online retail continues to gradually take a larger share of overall spending.

In November 2018 online sales made up 6.6 per cent of total retail sales, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released on Friday.

That’s the highest level ever recorded by the ABS. Twelve months earlier in November 2017 online retail turnover contributed 5.5 per cent to its total retail figure.

Ben Faulkner, acting director of quarterly economy wide surveys, noted the global sales events had a clear impact on spending patterns in the month before Christmas.  

“There was also a notable rise for clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing (1.5 per cent). Both of these industries were impacted by strong promotional activity in the November month, including Black Friday sales,” said Faulkner.

According to the ABS, overall Australian retail turnover rose 3.6 per cent in November 2018 compared with November 2017.  

November is becoming an increasingly important month for Australian retailers and consumers as Black Friday, Click Frenzy and Cyber Monday take hold.

According to CommBank credit card data, in the four days from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday last year, the dollar value of online sales of electronic equipment jumped 205 per cent compared with typical November daily averages. Clothing and footwear were up 127 per cent and online furniture sales increased 77 per cent.

Also released on Friday, NAB’s Online Retail Sales Index estimates Australians spent around $28.86 billion online during the 12 months up to November 2018. This is equivalent to 9 per cent of spending at traditional bricks and mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to October 2018.

Next month’s retail figures, released by the ABS on February 5, will provide a better indication of the extent to which shoppers may have shifted their spending from December to November, and what impact that may have had on pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales.

Amazon watch

Meanwhile, Amazon looks to have had a strong Christmas in Australia.

Traffic was up 30 per cent from a year ago when it launched, hitting its highest monthly average yet, according to an analysis conducted by Marketplace Pulse.

“The marketplace has also surpassed the 25,000 sellers milestone a week before Christmas, and we estimate that sales volume in December was the best month yet too,” Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of Marketplace Pulse, told Which-50.

Amazon Traffic December 2018
Source: Marketplace Pulse

Since its launch, Amazon has grown selection on Amazon.com.au fivefold, to over 100 million products across 29 categories. With more than 18.85 million visits in December, Amazon still has a while to go before catching Ebay.com.au, which had 76.63 million total visitors during the month, according to SimilarWeb.

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