Retail

Amazon Australia attracts 3.8 million Aussies in December, as appetite for online shopping grows

John Nelder /

Amazon Australia launch

Source: AAP/Joe Castro

Millions of Australian shoppers visited Amazon Australia in the lead up to Christmas, according to the latest e-commerce data from Nielsen, suggesting the global retail giant is fast making headway Down Under.

Data released by Nielsen this week shows 3.8 million Australians visited amazon.com.au in December, up 80% on November.

But the clicks don’t stop there. Amazon’s entire stable of sites, including of amazon.com.au, were visited by 6.9 million Australians in December, up from 6 million in November and 4.5 million in October.

However, the data also shows the increasing appetite among Australian shoppers for e-commerce offerings isn’t exclusive to Amazon; grocery retailers, including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, also saw traffic to their online stores and apps increase in December.

Woolies in particular is the standout performer, reporting an audience of 8.1 million shoppers over December, up 14.4% on the year prior.

Department retailers, too, drew big digital numbers over the month, with Kmart leading the pack by drawing nearly 4.4 million visitors, up 22.1% on the year prior.

In all, the Nielsen figures show more adult Australian shoppers than ever visited online retailers and department stores last month. A total of 14.4 million shoppers frequented the online stores in December 2017, which represents a 6.3% increase compared to December 2016.

And increasingly non-desktop platforms are coming to the fore, with 9.3 million Aussies having accessed online shopping via smartphones in December and 4.9 million via tablets.

Online wave looks set to continue

Retail Oasis co-director Pippa Kulmar says the numbers aren’t surprising.

“There’s definitely been a tipping point this year. There’s been big improvements in the online customer experience and also delivery times, so that’s translated to more clicks,” Kulmar told SmartCompany.

And the Christmas period, she says, was testament to the very allure of online shopping.

“Christmas shopping in and of itself can be inconvenient in terms of finding a parking spot and going to crowded malls,” she says.

“Online can be particularly convenient over that time period, particularly because you’re buying for others and don’t need to try things on.

“And on top of that, a lot of people were working right up until the Friday with Christmas being on the Sunday, so that also made it a more convenient option.”

While the timing of Amazon’s arrival in Australia may have contributed to the retailer’s Australian traffic numbers in November and December, Kulmar predicts the numbers could be a sign of things to come.

“I’ve just come back from Seattle and New York. Over there, everything is being delivered is in an Amazon box,” she says.

“Never underestimate the behemoth that is Amazon.”

Make the experience as seamless and frictionless as possible

For any retailers keen to get a bigger slice of the e-commerce pie, Kulmar advises it’s all about making it as easy as possible for the consumer.

“To succeed in digital, you need to make the experience as seamless and frictionless as possible,” she says.

“How easy you can you make it for someone to buy is becoming a competitive advantage.”

And she says it’s important not to forget the growing importance of non-desktop platforms.

“Mobile is becoming the dominant e-commerce channel rather than desktop. Mobile is now the dominant e-commerce platform in the States,” she explains.

“We have phones on us all the time. Is your mobile site easy to shop from?”

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John Nelder

John Nelder is a city-dwelling, latte-swilling SmartCompany journalist.

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