Video Games Are Leading The Online Shopping Charge In Australia

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.


    I think I have only bought one Xmas present at a bricks and mortar retailer this year. Every other purchase has been online, had it shipped straight to the folks place where we are spending Xmas, so didn't even have to jam it all in the car. No crowds, no lines, no friggin horrible music on the speakers. No hassle.
    Most of it was from Aussie retailers.

      I bought every one of my christmas presents online this year. The only downside is one of the posties on my route is terrible and doesn't ring the doorbell or knock he just puts a slip in my mail box and leaves so I keep having to go pick up packages from the post office.

        I know that feeling all too well. I ended up getting a 24 hour locker 'cause I didn't want some lazy contractor getting paid to not deliver my parcels.

          It's just infuriating though when you are home yet still get a slip. I also have them take cheap items and aren't registered post back to the depot yet I had a guitar delivered that was just left on my door step while I was at work and the signature required area had been scibbled out with permanent marker. Don't understand the logic.

            I know man, I know.

            I don't want to evangelize the locker service but it's a whole lot less stressful.. so long as you are able to get there yourself, I feel for people who work from home because they're disabled and have to deal with shitty couriers.

            You can technically report that actually.... a "signature required" package NEEDS to have a signature. Whilst normal parcels getting stuffed isn't something the average Auspost will care about..

            A lost item w/ a signature required actually means the post office will need to fork out money for insurance. It puts a black mark on the contractor so they don't get used/hired again.

        Get a parcel locker or set up parcel collect. At least then you get an SMS and can pick it up earlier, or with parcel lockers even pick it up out of hours.

      Very good point.
      It is also much more convenient to shop from the comfort of your chair than walking through x shops while being droned on with the same 10 songs over and over again.
      Also price comparison is much easier. Website A has it for $15, website B for $12, why bother argueing for a price match? I don't care who gets my money in the end as long as I have the same article I want for less money.

    After the nightmare time i had with Mighty Ape trying to get GTA V and FC4, I'm going the other way, price matching at brick and mortar shops for gaming.

    Last edited 03/12/14 10:42 am

    But Gerry Harvey said that the internet was a fad and that Australians will buy from warm blooded Australians in brick and mortar stores because, well, 'STRAYA.

    What a shock that Australians are buying more online and that, finally, shops are starting to have an online presence. You must've been as surprised as me @markserrels when you moved over here that Australian online shopping was basically non-existent compared to the UK?

      Gerry walks outside and shakes fist at passing cloud..

    Spending patterns – Department and Variety Stores continue to dominate the online retail sector, having 34% of total online spending.The second largest category, Homewares and Appliances,attracted 17% of total dollar spends, followed by Groceries and Liquor (15%), Media (12%), Fashion (11%), Personal & Recreational Goods (6%), Daily Deals (3%) and Electronic Games & Toys (2%).

    I'd hardly call 2% of sales 'leading the charge'...

    Then again, the report says that spending reached 16.2 billion. That would mean that this category accounted for ~320 million in sales. A 43.7% growth would mean it increased from about ~220 million, so 100 million is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

    In perspective, the 11.9% increase in spending to 16.2 billion would equate to just over 1.7 billion in growth. This would mean the sector with 2% of the spending accounted for about 5.8% of the growth, which isn't too shabby.

    So I like numbers...

    Mmmm... I have many player points accumulated at, to the point that 9 times out of 10 when I walk into EB Games I end up not buying anything and complaining to the staff about (a) high prices, (b) failure to lower prices on older items, (c) lack of Vita games on shelves and (d) not wanting to pre-order anything because hey, look at such examples as Aliens Colonial Marines, Driveclub, Halo Master Chief Collection and AC:Unity.

    I mostly buy online, it's just cheaper.

    I use EB games like a hands-on gaming catalog. I'll walk in, browse around, pick up a game, say to myself, "Hey, this looks good" Then I'll take out my phone, write the title down, search it up online when I get home, and hey look it's cheaper online by 30%

    The only store that I might buy something is Gametraders and opshops.

    I'll walk in, see Banjo-Kazooie on the 64 for $10 without box. I'll take out my phone, look the prices online, and oh it seems to be a collectors item. Ebay prices seem to skyrocket with this one.

    Laptops, iPhone 6, iPads, HDTV's, PS4 and more is now on sale only at (HolidayShoppingMart .com)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now