Eye-Popping Stats: US Online Sales

Aug 6

Eye-Popping Stats: US Online Sales

With 0nline sales accounting for less than 6% of retail sales in Australia, this was an eye-popping infographic I saw the other day based on a a study by the US Census Bureau.

The bulk of sales are still in-store, but (and not surprisingly) books and magazines, clothing, and electronics are far better represented online.

However, even if we are not blown away by the categories at the top of the list, I was pretty blown away by the proportion of online sales in these categories. It makes me feel like I am living in a backwater.

Have a look:

Books and Magazines: 61%

Clothing: 65.9% (!)

Electronics: 74.1%

I am not going to bother doing a weighted average to get the entire market view, but a conservative estimate of ALL ONLINE US SALES would be about 50%(!). Now to be fair, this does include Telemarketing and Catalogue figures – but still people!

What happened Australia? When my British husband moved over here at the end of the 90s, he felt we were ahead of the curve e-commerce-wise. Then the dot-com bust happened and Aussies jumped the digital ship. After the shock, it seems we cocooned ourselves into an indefensible non-digital fortress.

So what has this meant? Well I don’t know the stats but for goods that can be easily shipped – like fashion – it has to be pretty rough. Overseas companies jumped back on the ship and sailed it to success all over the world. I get emails from ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Gap/ Old Navy, Marks & Spencers etc etc most days with free shipping offers to Australia. Their ranges are wide and their prices compared to ours are, frankly in comparison,  just too good to be true. And actually even before our dollar floated out of sight, this was the case.

And to add further salt to the wound, it’s not just good enough to kick digital sand in our faces but now they are actually building bricks-and-mortar stores on our shores too. Zara is here, Topshop is following, and then the rest will. (And maybe Gap and the likes will start charging world prices than over-inflated Aussie ones.)

Come on guys, we are good at innovation and trying new things… what’s going on?!

See it and weep








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