Australians spent A$21.3 billion (US$16.3b) last year on online shopping - an 18.7% increase compared with 2016 - Australia Post said in its annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report.
While the online spending growth outstripped traditional retail by 16.2%, traditional retail sales excluding cafes and restaurants still accounted for A$267.4 billion spent in 2017.
When it comes to the number of purchases, the growth is even more pronounced. Purchases were up 19.2% in 2017, after an 11.5% rise in 2016. The report said that by 2020, one in 10 items will be bought online.
Australia Post General Manager for Parcels & Express Services, Ben Franzi, said Australians shopped online to access greater value, choice and convenience, and a clear example of this was the rise of online market places.
Australia Post is top supplier
"Marketplaces - such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy - are booming, growing 74.8% in the past year alone," Mr Franzi said, adding that marketplaces - such as Alibaba's Tmall Global and JD.com - were also helping Australian retailers access the lucrative international market, the total online spend of which has increased 46.7% to US$1.57 trillion in the past two years.
According to the Australian Post executive, "Marketplaces make it easier for consumers in our key export markets - China, U.S., and India - to find Australian products and offer a more convenient way for local businesses to start selling overseas. He estimated that by 2019, total online goods purchases from across the globe will reach US$2.16 trillion.
Fashion, health supplements and other wellbeing products, and cosmetics are among Australia's most popular online exports. Domestically, fashion continues to be the top selling category, increasing 27.2% in the past year. Health and beauty products are also popular, growing 13.2%, while home wares and appliances recorded 10.9% growth.
Australia Post delivers 80% of all parcels received across Australia. It has a network of 16,100 motorbikes, vans and trucks.
Nol van Fenema