Last year, Canberrans went on a record online shopping spree

Last year, Canberrans went on a record online shopping spree

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Canberrans are spending more money online than ever before, with a 20.1 per cent spike in sales last year.

Nationally, online purchases topped $21 billion for the first time in 2017, as Australians’ online spending rose 18.7 per cent on 2016.

The data, released on Monday as part of Australia Post’s annual online shopping report, did not provide dollar figures relating to ACT spending.

However, it gave percentage breakdowns that show Canberrans are big fashion buyers, with online sales across the industry up 24.6 per cent from 2016 to 2017.

Online health and beauty purchases also jumped 13.4 per cent in the capital, with Belconnen the best performing suburb in Australia on a per-capita basis.

Australia Post general manager for parcels and express services Ben Franzi said in that category, sales in Belconnen had grown more than two-and-a-half times faster than the national average.

“At half the size of most other postcodes on the top 10 list, it still managed to reach top spot,” he said.

Mr Franzi said online shopping accounted for 8 per cent of nationwide sales last year, and predicted that figure would hit 10 per cent by 2020.

He said the growth of online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy, which grew 74.8 per cent in 2017, were driving the surge in sales.

“The main reason people shop online is for price, range and convenience,” Mr Franzi said.

“Marketplaces make it easier for consumers in our key export markets – China, the United States and India – to find Australian products and offer a more convenient way for local businesses to start selling overseas.”

The Australia Post report, which is based on the organisation’s delivery data, breaks down online spending across five growing industries.

Despite the 24.6 per cent increase in fashion, the ACT’s online sales growth in the industry still fell below the national average of 27.2 per cent.

The ACT also lagged behind in online variety store purchases (up 23.7 per cent) and hobbies and recreational goods (up 9.7 per cent).

However, Canberrans’ online spending is increasing faster than the national average in health and beauty (up 13.4 per cent), and homewares and appliances (up 11.1 per cent).

The growth of online shopping hasn’t shaken the confidence of Canberra’s small and medium-sized businesses, which were last month revealed to be the most confident in the country.

The ACT’s business confidence climbed two percentage points in the Sensis Business Index survey for the March quarter, which was released in April.