The funding, which was allocated in the 2012-13 Budget, will allow the ABS to track Australian spending data from domestic and overseas online retailers as well as ‘multi-channel’ retailers that sell online and from traditional bricks and mortar outlets.
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said that this data would help inform public policy, allow the ABS to track trends in online sales growth, and provide better data to the Government and industry.
“While it faces a number of significant challenges, online retailing presents enormous opportunities for traditional bricks and mortar retailers to expand and innovate,” Bradbury says.
“Having comprehensive, high quality internet retailing data available to government and business will help inform decision-making about this growing segment of the retail sector,” Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Bernie Ripoll adds.
Domestic online shopping figures will be reported on a monthly basis, and these will be collected as part of the existing ABS monthly retail trade survey, while it is expected that figures for online purchases of imported goods will be reported annually, based on data provided by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and Australia Post.
It is anticipated that an information paper will be published in early 2013 to provide a snapshot of some preliminary survey results on online retail spending, while the first full data set is expected to be published in November 2013.
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