SYDNEY: Australians are shopping online for loved ones this festive season, a new report has shown, as Christmas shopping for mobile devices is set to over-take desktop purchases for the first time.

The 7 Christmas Insights report, released by Yahoo7, highlights shopping trends and behaviours of Australian consumers online during the end-of-year shopping season. Sales are expected to peak this week as consumer confidence in Australia continues to strengthen.

The stress of Christmas shopping is pushing more Australians online. B&T Magazine reports 39% of respondents said they shopped online to avoid crowds, and a third were worried about finding time to shop during the busy festive season.

Online purchases from mobile phones are also set to overtake desktop purchases in Australia for the first time, with an estimated 60% of 500,000 sales to occur via mobile phones, according to figures from eBay published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

E-retailers are anticipating A$1.5bn in sales for the coming week alone, with Australia's Retail Council expecting a total of A$4.9bn to be spent online in the month leading up to Christmas.

For bricks and mortar stores, all is not yet lost to the e-commerce juggernaut – online-to-offline sales are also surging. Brands that offer a seamless experience online are also driving customers to their stores.

"Retailers are now offering a host of options to allow shoppers more convenience and flexibility," said Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, in comments to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We're seeing a big incidence of people who may order a product online, go into a store to pick it up, and end up purchasing other products while instore," he says.

According to the Yahoo7 survey, the most popular gifts for Australians this year will be experiences, electronics, home appliances and clothing. Almost half (46%) of respondents also intend to purchase a charitable gift.

Data sourced from B&T, Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by Warc staff