Online sales continue to grow, with a record $4.2 billion spent online in August, according to new figures released by the ABS.

The figures show a 15.1 per cent jump on the previous month, and 39.2 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

Paul Zahra, CEO Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said businesses deciding to take an omnichannel approach were reaping the rewards of pent-up shopping demand.

“Many Australians are turning to the internet for their shopping in a big way with so many of us subject to stay-at-home orders, and that’s reflected in the ABS figures released today with online sales in August going through the roof.”

August’s online food sales increased 11.7 per cent on July and 28.8 per cent compared to August 2020. Non-food sales in August grew 16.3 per cent on the previous month and 39.2 per cent on the same time last year.

Zahra expects this elevated level of online spending to continue right through to Christmas and warned shoppers to plan to shop earlier this year.

“Our research in conjunction with Roy Morgan shows 48 per cent of Christmas shopping is set to be done online this year, so there’s unlikely to be a let up in demand for products online.

“There’s a myriad of issues disrupting supply chains this year and whilst retailers have been navigating this extremely well, these supply chain demands are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. With a reopening is on the cards in locked down parts of the country in the coming days and weeks and only 80 days to go till Christmas, consumers should consider shopping now to avoid disappointment.”

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