eBay 'is now Australia's favourite shopping mall'

The popularity of online shopping is growing all the time down under and researchers believe that the internet is revolutionising the way we buy our goods.

New figures released by Roy Morgan Research showed that web sales were up to $22.8 billion in the year to June 2012 – a rise of 14.2 per cent on the previous year.

This is a huge increase when compared to general retail statistics, as overall sales during the 12-month period grew by a modest 3.3 per cent.

The organisation stated that one in three Aussies now purchases something online during an average month and 56.7 per cent of the population said they have bought something using their computer or smartphone at some point in their life – up from 29.7 per cent seven years ago.

According to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, people have tightened the grip on their finances of late, with spending falling by 0.4 per cent in August and 5.4 per cent in July in seasonally adjusted terms.

However, it seems that those who are still in a position to buy luxury items are predominantly doing so via online portals.

Chief executive officer at Roy Morgan Research Michele Levine said that the travel and entertainment sectors are benefiting most from Australia's increasing reliance on online retailing.

"Online purchasing is radically transforming Australians' shopping habits. eBay is now Australia's No.1 shopping mall, with more visitors in an average four weeks than all Westfield shopping centres nationally," she remarked.

"Any business today that exists because its 'customers do not know any better', 'don't know their prices are too high' or 'the product or service is sub-standard', probably won't be in business for long," Ms Levine added.

Convenience and greater choice are perhaps the two biggest reasons for the booming popularity of online shopping.

Aussies can scour the world for products from the comfort of their own home, before entering their credit card details to complete the transaction – it couldn't be easier.

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