As of October, Australians have spent over $16 billion in online shopping this year, almost a 12% increase compared to 2013 and it turns out that video games are leading the charge.
Online Shopping image from Shutterstock
According to the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index, the category of 'electronic games and toys' saw an incredible 43.9% growth in October. For perspective, the 'homewares and appliances' came in second place with a 22.1% year-on-year growth for the same month. It seems like 2014 has seen a dramatic increase in people shopping online for video games.
Perhaps the most interesting statistic is that the majority of the growth in online shopping isn't sending money overseas. Domestic growth in online shopping grew by 14.4% while overseas shopping, slowed by the weakening Australian dollar, only grew by 4.7%.
Brick and mortar retail also saw a spike in sales, but according to NAB, it couldn't compete with the growth of online shopping.
"Our October data confirms what we anticipated last quarter – that online sales will keep growing at a faster pace than traditional retail," explained Peter King, NAB’s Consumer Sectors Australia Head.
Despite the massive growth in games, NAB is quick to mention that it's generally seen as a volatile market, given that it's solely dependent on a flood of new releases. October is obviously a big month for games in the lead up to Christmas, but July through to August? That tends to be a little quieter.
But the growth of gaming in the online retail space makes sense from a number of perspectives. What age group does the most online shopping? People aged between 35 and 44. Also, people who play games — by nature — tend to be more technologically savvy, they're used to buying content online and far more likely to trust online retailers.