The Retail Trade survey has been collecting online sales since the March quarter 2013. The Online series is published as grouped industry split; a Food group (including the Food retailing, and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services), and a Non-food group (all other industries). Due to the limitations of online data collection, a finer split by industry is not possible at this stage.
Online sales have become increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions placed on the operation of physical retail stores saw both businesses and consumers turn to online retailing.
It is worth noting that retailers have had to adapt sales channels very quickly during the pandemic, and it is possible that the value of online purchases has been under-reported since April 2020. Importantly, total retail sales will not be under-reported.
The Online series remains experimental, and caution should be used in interpreting the results, especially during this volatile period.