Aussies are spending their online shopping dollars at home and we know why

Mia Steiber 9 May 2016

shutterstock_243661267 - edited

Last year, more than half of the 2.4 billion dollars we spent buying clothes online went to Australian retailers.

According to recent data from Roy Morgan, 56% of online clothing purchases made by Aussies over the age of 14 were with Australian-based retailers. The figure excludes footwear and children's clothing purchases, so the figure could be even higher than that.

Women accounted for most of the domestic spend, with females purchasing female clothing contributing over 1 billion dollars to the 1.36 billion dollar figure spent in Australia. The clear preference when buying women's clothing is to shop domestically, with 66% of the 1.58 billion dollars spent on women's clothing (by men and women) being spent domestically.

Men shopping for men's clothing seem to prefer to shop internationally with 498 million dollars spent with international retailers compared with 303 million spent with domestic. Interestingly, a similar trend can be seen when looking at women shopping for men's clothing. Despite women clearly preferring domestic retailers for womenswear, women who were shopping for men's clothes spent more money internationally.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says: “There is clear difference between womenswear and menswear when it comes to how much of our expenditure stays local. Two thirds of Australians’ spend on women’s clothes online (nearly all of which came from women, of course) was through local sites. But for menswear, 61% of our expenditure went overseas—and both men and women shoppers favour international sites for men’s clothes. Together, all this suggests that Australian men’s clothing retailers need to catch up to the women’s."

Despite the men's online retail space in Australia being underdeveloped, especially when compared to international men's specialty stores like Mr Porter and East Dane, our domestic online retail industry has made huge strides in just a short time.

With powerhouses like ASOS and Missguided leading the way in the world of online retail for years, in the past Australians have sent their online shopping dollars off shore.

But Australia has caught up in the last five years, with many established retailers, like David Jones, developing a customer-friendly online presence and dozens of home-grown retailers, like THE ICONIC or Sabo Skirt, emerging as leaders in the market.

Shopping locally has many benefits for Aussies. Not only does it keep billions of dollars within our economy, but the carbon footprint of domestic purchases is significantly less than the footprint of a international purchase sent by airmail. It's also cheaper and much faster when it comes to shipping rate and times. So it's not too surprising that we're seeing a trend of Aussies choosing to spend domestically.

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