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APPENDIX 1 EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF ONLINE RETAIL TURNOVER
DEFINITION OF ONLINE RETAIL TURNOVER
6 For the purposes of this publication, 'online retail turnover' is the value of turnover of 'retail trade' which is derived from 'online sales'. 'Retail trade' includes those industries defined in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the explanatory notes of this publication. 'Online sales' are defined as sales of goods and/or services where the order is placed by the buyer via the Internet or any other computer network, regardless of whether payment is made online or not.
7 The estimates are disaggregated between "pure-play" and "multi-channel" online retail trade activity. Pure-play online retail trade includes only the online sales of sole e-commerce retailers (i.e. retailers that trade with consumers solely via an online store and have no physical store). All other online sales are included in Multi-channel online retail trade, comprised of retailers which combine an online store with a physical store and/or other non-traditional means such as catalogues, mail-order and/or telephone-order.
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
8 The estimates of online retail turnover are compiled from the monthly Retail Business Survey. The scope of this survey includes all employing businesses within Australia from selected retail trade and food services industries which predominately sell to households.
9 The online retail sales of both store based and non-store based retailers, including pure-play online retailers, will be included in this scope. However, online sales by non-employing businesses and non-resident retailers overseas which sell directly to the Australian general public via an online store are not included, nor are they within the primary purpose or scope of the Retail Business Survey.
10 The survey also excludes online retail sales from businesses with a non-retail industry classification, such as businesses which sell predominantly to other businesses (which are predominantly wholesalers) and businesses which produce goods for direct selling to consumers from the same premises (which are predominantly manufacturers).
11 The methodology used to derive the estimates of online retail turnover is also based on the same sample design and generalised estimation methodology which is used for the Retail Business Survey.
CHANGES TO THE RETAIL BUSINESS SURVEY OCTOBER 2013
12 As indicated in the October 2013 issue of this publication, changes to the sample design and methodology of the Retail Business Survey were introduced between September 2013 and October 2013. This meant that a significant number of new units were included which replaced others rotating out. As a result, the movement estimates in October 2013 may be more volatile than usual. In addition, lower level time series may be impacted by a short-term shift in level.
13 The lower level series which may be impacted by the change in October 2013 include the experimental estimates of online retail turnover presented in this appendix. Therefore, care should be taken when interpreting monthly and annual percentage changes for online retail turnover estimates which include the September 2013 and October 2013 reference period. In subsequent issues, the ABS will estimate the size of any level shifts and consider revisions to historical series to facilitate comparisons over time.
ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS AND UPCOMING CHANGES
14 Further enhancements to improve the coverage and presentation of estimates of online retail turnover are the subject of ongoing investigation by the ABS. These include (but are not limited to) potential enhancements to the methodology of the Retail Business Survey which would optimise the survey design for estimating both online and total retail turnover, rather than the current design which is optimised for estimating total retail turnover only.
15 Changes to the presentation of the estimates are planned for future issues of Retail Trade. Future issues are expected to include:
SUGGESTIONS AND FEEDBACK
16 As part of our ongoing investigations, we are currently seeking user feedback and suggestions about the presentation of the experimental time series in this publication and the upcoming changes planned for future issues. In particular, comment is sought on the usefulness of the proposed industry disaggregation.
17 If you have any feedback or suggestions please contact Amanda Biltoft by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on Sydney (02) 9268 4642.
18 Users may also wish to refer to the following:
19 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
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