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New Aussie online spending data signals strong start to 2024

Australians spent nearly AUD$200 more through the latest peak sales season in 2023 compared with 2022, according to the latest Digital Economy Index from leading global financial platform Airwallex. Moreover, e-commerce spending jumped nearly 20 per cent through the most recent peak sales season 

The Airwallex Digital Economy Index records year-to-date spending per adult, as well as quarter-by-quarter snapshots of the digital economy by state and industry.

Estimated digital spend per adult by state

JurisdictionYear to 2022 Q4 ($)Year to 2023 Q4 ($)YoY change ($)Australia$5,863$6,055$192NSW$10,037$9,826-$211QLD$2,395$2,827$432SA$4,720$4,083-$637TAS$1,107$1,244$137VIC$6,373$6,253-$120WA$2,909$3,005$97

Digital Business Turnover by industry

CategoryYoY –
% change 2022 Q4 to 2023 Q4
QoQ –% change 2023 Q3 to 2023 Q4Digital and technology-0.09%-13.41%e-commerce3.86%19.79%Education-7.50%-5.89%Financial and insurance3.56%8.13%Travel7.63%8.47%The Digital Economy Index focuses on the income turnover for digital businesses as an indication of consumer confidence and the appeal of different types of digital businesses.

The Index monitors the performance and progress of Australian digital businesses, analysing data from a sample of 1000 Airwallex customers, adjusted for company size, industry and geographic location to ensure relevant representation. The Airwallex group processes around $80 billion in annualised transactions each year. 

Airwallex Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Luke Latham said Australians appeared to be relaxing a little after a year of spending restraint in the face of cost-of-living pressures. “Australia’s digital economy finished 2023 in a solid position with a strong $200 uptick in per person spending,” Latham said. With e-commerce, travel and financial and insurance spending driving the increases, it’s clear Aussies are letting their hair down a bit while also making sure they’re investing for a rainy day. Interestingly, the spending pattern was inconsistent across the country, highlighting that the hip pocket pain from mortgage increases and inflation are likely being felt most keenly in NSW, Victoria and South Australia and deterring spending.”

Latham said businesses with established online strategies would be well-placed to make the most of the return of consumer confidence in regions where spending is trending upward. “Across all sectors there’s a lot of optimism that the signals we’ve seen towards the end of 2023 indicate a return to online spending growth,” Latham said. “While the huge growth in online education spending has come off the boil from its COVID-era peaks, we’re seeing bright spots across the board particularly for e-commerce, financial services and travel businesses. “Now’s the time for businesses to be looking closely at the online experience for their customers as well as the platforms and partners they use to reach new customers.”

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