MELBOURNE: Fast-developing suburbs and regional towns are driving online spending growth in Australia, a new state-of-the-industry report has revealed.

Three quarters of Australia's online purchases are made from the eastern seaboard states, Australia Post's Inside Australian Online Shopping report has shown, with up-and coming suburbs and regional cities spending more online than their big city counterparts.

Ben Franzi, Australia Post's General Manager of eCommerce Platforms and Marketplaces, spoke to Warc about the Four trends shaping e-commerce in Australia.

"Regional online shopping grew by more than 8% last year – so slightly above the norm," he said.

And he believes access to a wider range of products is a major motivation for online shoppers in regional Australia: the data revealed that the further away a consumer is from a major metro centre, the more likely they are to shop online.

There is also a correlation between areas with new housing developments and an increase in online shopping. Younger Australians and families are on average, more frequent online shoppers than the general population and more likely to shop via mobile devices.

Franzi noted Australians tend to buy 'discretionary' goods online, rather than 'needs'.

The top category for online spend in Australia is marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon or online shops selling a range of goods, with 32% of total spend.

The second most popular category is fashion at 26% of total spend. Media, homewares and specialty foods/liquor round out the top five. While spending in larger segments such as marketplaces is mostly flat, the good news for brands is that spending growth is booming in smaller, more specialised segments.

"Fashion is growing at 16%, health and beauty is growing at 50%, homewares and appliances is at 20%, and food and alcohol is growing at 9%," Franzi said.

Data sourced from Warc