Australia - Country Commercial Guide
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The Australian ecommerce market, turbocharged by the global pandemic, flatlined in 2022 as consumers chose to return to bricks and mortar stores to make retail purchases. According to the Australia Post 2023 eCommerce Industry Report, total Australian retail spending in 2022 reached US$242 Billion – an increase of 9.2 percent on 2021. E-commerce’s share of all retail spending was 18 percent – reaching US$45 billion – a modest increase of 1.7 percent on 2021 figures.  Australia Post’s report suggests that businesses benefitting the most from online commerce had a multichannel strategy with a mix of brick and mortar and online stores. Eighty two percent of all Australian households made online purchases in 2022 and the greatest growth in the market came from consumers in rural and remote areas of Australia.

Current Market Trends 

According to a recent survey carried out by Australia Post, some of the fastest growing categories for online commerce are food and liquor (20.6% share of online purchases – year on year (YoY) increase 11.4%), and variety stores – large retailers and online marketplaces (18.1.% share of online purchases, YoY increase 8.6%). All the other leading categories had negative year on year growth – Home & Garden (29.3% share of online purchases, YoY growth -3.5%), fashion & apparel  (17.4% share – YoY growth -0.9%), hobbies & recreational goods (6.8% share, YoY growth -5.2%), health & beauty (4.6% share – YoY growth -3.9%), media (3.% share – YoY growth - 5.7%). The food and meal delivery market is valued at nearly US$700 million a month and is one of the main drivers of the online spending market. Research firm Roy Morgan suggests that in an average three month period, more than 7 million Australians use meal services. Leading the charge are millennials, followed by Gen Z and Gen X consumers. The leading providers of food delivery services in Australia are Uber Eats (59.7% market share), Deliveroo (17.5%) and Menulog (12.1%).

Domestic eCommerce (B2C) 

Ecommerce sales on domestically-based ecommerce sites make up most of the overall ecommerce market. The two largest ecommerce platforms are eBay AU and Amazon AU. The remainder of B2C eCommerce takes place at the individual companies’ websites. With over 13 million active Facebook users in Australia, social media is also a big driver in the promotion of B2C transactions. Retailers are driving sales through a mix of shop and online promotions or “multi-channel”. The finance industry is a major driver with the large four Australian banks providing a range of cutting-edge tools for accessing accounts, paying bills, and making mobile transactions. B2B sales are somewhat more fragmented with less reliance on eCommerce platforms for trading. According to analysis generated by Statista, the largest five ecommerce stores in Australia by revenue are Woolworths, Coles, Apple, JB HiFi, and Officeworks. The sites accounted for 30.2 percent of total domestic ecommerce in 2022.

Cross-Border eCommerce 

Twenty eight percent of Australians purchased products in 2022 from international sellers. Australia Post reports that 40 percent of Australian shoppers’ most recent purchases were from China. The United States has declined in share over the past two years and now accounts for 21 percent of overseas purchases, followed by United Kingdom (14%), Hong Kong (6%), and New Zealand (3%). Only six percent of international shoppers are buying from Australia. Statista research suggests that cross border ecommerce accounts for only 10 percent of the total ecommerce market. A Goods and Services Tax (GST) is charged at a rate of 10 percent of the landed value of these goods originating from overseas. A recipient is not a consumer if they are a GST-registered business who purchases the goods for use in their business in Australia. The supplier can be sure this is the case if they obtain the recipient’s ABN and the recipient states to them that they are GST-registered.   

The reporting requirements for customs documents apply when the supplier is registered for GST in Australia and responsible for sales of low value goods. This includes items where GST is not charged because the customer is not a consumer – if so, the tax information which must be included is the supplier’s GST registration number and the recipient’s ABN (if the supplier has it).   

A supplier only needs to be registered for GST if the value of their sales of low-value goods imported into Australia by consumers (plus any other sales made that are connected with Australia) is AU$75,000 or more in a 12-month period. If the supplier only makes sales to Australia of goods imported by GST-registered businesses, they will not be required to register for GST. This means there will be no requirement to include the information in customs documents.  

More information can be found on doing business in Australia, including a webinar and some short factsheets as well as detailed web guidance and links to public rulings may be found on the Australian Taxation office’s website

Other sections relevant to U.S. exporters include:  

  • Sales of low value goods to GST-registered businesses 
  • Requirements for customs documents 

eCommerce Services 

Major fulfillment service providers in the local market include Australia Post, DHL, FedEx, TNT, Toll, and StarTrack.  

Popular eCommerce Sites 

Popular eCommerce sites in Australia include eBay (AU), Amazon (AU), Woolworths, JB HiFi, Kmart, Coles,, Officeworks, Chemist Warehouse, Dan Murphys,, Nike, and Catch. 

Online Payment 

According to Australia Post research, 48.8 percent of all online payments are made via PayPal. Credit and debit cards account 39.9 percent of online payments. The fastest growing segment is the buy now pay later market. Market leader, AfterPay recorded an 12 percent increase in customers over 2022. 

Mobile eCommerce 

Mobile eCommerce represents a significant opportunity in the local market. With mobile penetration at close to 100%, mobile payments and purchasing is a major strategy for all retailers. More than 30 percent of all ecommerce transactions occur via mobile phone, representing a 20 percent year-on-year increase, and dwarfing transactions made over laptop and desktop, which have been shrinking over the last couple of years. 

Digital Marketing 

Australia’s digital advertising market grew by 18 percent over 2022. Research by Statista suggests that total online advertising revenue will reach US$12.6 billion in 2023. The largest market is search advertising which is predicted to be valued at US$5.7 Billion in 2023.