Trends and Data

Australian eCommerce is strong in the face of increasing international competition

Press Release

The Australian ecommerce market is expected to see another year of double-digit growth in 2011 with domestic retailers accounting for the majority of the activity, according to Australian ecommerce leaders’ and PayPal.

Deborah Sharkey, Managing Director of eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd, and Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director of PayPal Australia, will both speak today at the 2011 Online Retail Forum hosted by Senator Stephen Conroy, where they will counter the myth that all online spend is going offshore.

While the strong dollar has undoubtedly encouraged shoppers to go online and take advantage of international offers, local online retailers are experiencing the benefits of increased online activity.

Deborah Sharkey commented, “In 2010, the top 2,000 sellers on had an annual turnover starting at over $120,000, with the top seller reaching more than $12.6million. The top 2,000 sellers’ turnover grew 38% in 2010 YoY on[1]

The purchasing habits of online shoppers will also be discussed at the forum. PayPal will provide insights based on the activity of its 3 million plus Australian active account holders.

Frerk-Malte Feller said “The sheer number of shoppers continues to increase and those already shopping are now shopping more frequently. In the last six months of 2010, 500,000 new customers signed up for a PayPal account and began shopping online. This in turn is driving growth for Australian online retailers and we are seeing that on average the transactions of our 35,000 merchants accepting PayPal are growing at 19% YoY.”

In fact, Forrester Research predict that the eCommerce market is set to reach $36.8billion by 2013, up from $27 billion in 2010, with the majority of online purchases being made from local retailers (81%)[2].

“We are at an inflection point in Australian retail where millions of Australians are increasingly choosing to shop online instead of going into a store. Smart local operators acknowledge that consumer behaviour shift and are adopting multi-channel strategies to succeed in ecommerce, as well as using the strong Australian dollar to import more and pass those savings on to their customers,” Ms Sharkey said.

Local retailers benefitting from increased online spend and patriotism:

  • Nearly a quarter of Australian adults choose only to shop online with domestic websites[3]
  • Domestic eBay sellers’ grew ten times that of retail in 2010.[4]

Ms Sharkey said that 2011 would witness similar growth, buoyed by faster internet services and growth in mobile use.

Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director of PayPal Australia, said that the forecasted growth in online retail clearly indicates that we are at a tipping point and those retailers that innovate and meet consumer demand will very quickly differentiate themselves from laggard competitors.

“As consumers spend more time researching and identifying products online and through their web enabled mobile devices, and as the line continues to blur between offline and online, it will become increasingly important for retailers to offer a range of secure payment solutions across multiple touch points.”




The Online Business Index is an annual report looking at the performance and attitudes of Australian businesses engaged in ecommerce. The 2011 Online Business Index results will be launched in mid-to-late March and last year’s Index can be found here.

[1] eBay internal data, 2010

[2] eCommerce Secure Insight report, Forrester Research, commissioned by PayPal, November 2010

[3] The Business of Australian Online Retail, Forrester Consulting, November 2010

[4] eBay and ABS data compared over a 12 month period ending 31 December 2010. ABS data excludes food & cafes.