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These online brands exploded in 2023 despite tough times

This year, Similarweb’s report shows which online brands did the best in Australia. They looked at the 20 brands that grew the fastest in areas like Fashion, Consumer Electronics, Home & Garden, Personal Finance, and Travel & Tourism.

Some standouts were CeX for Consumer Electronics, Litfad for Home and Garden, Tick Insurance for Personal Finance, SeaLink for Travel and Tourism, and Crocs for Apparel and Accessories. These brands did really well, even with inflation and higher living costs.

CeX (webuy.com)

“Over the past 18 months we’ve noticed a strong demand in Australia for second-hand electronics as consumers look to make every dollar go further,” David F. Carr, Senior Insights Manager, Similarweb said. “With that in mind, CeX’s record growth makes sense as they not only sell second hand electronics, but they also buy unwanted phones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles which could be an attractive option when times are tough.”

Another trend to emerge in this year’s electronics category is the increased interest in home security equipment – particularly video surveillance. Of the category’s 20 fastest growing brands, six (Myeufy, Ring, Arlo, Reolink, Swann, and Hikvision) are dedicated to home security technology. Notable mentions in the Consumer Electronics category include myeufy.com.au and ring.com (home surveillance equipment manufacturers) which increased their traffic by 64% and 29.5% respectively.” 

Litfad (litfad.com

“As Australians sought to manage cost of living pressures in 2023, many who were in the market for new furniture, homewares, and lightning turned to the Chinese discount retailer, Litfad,” Carr said. “Of all five category winners, Litfad had the highest average unique monthly visitors with 278,800 turning to the site.” Notable mentions in the Home and Garden category include jameslane.com.au which posted 87.4% growth and luxoliving.com.au which saw a 72.7% increase in traffic. 

Tick Insurance (tickinsurance.com.au)

“For those Australians with the means to travel, it appears one very important lesson was learned during the COVID years – buy travel insurance,” Carr said. “Tick Insurance has been the greatest beneficiary of this trend, more than doubling its traffic with 123.4% growth as those travelling abroad seek to minimise the risks of any unforeseen events.”

One interesting trend appears in the names who aren’t in this year’s list, rather than those who are – the lack of BNPL providers. After multiple years of strong growth, it appears Australia has hit ‘max BNPL’ with no major provider – with exception of Deferit, a BNPL for bills – appearing in the top 20.  Notable mentions in the Personal Finance category include cryptocurrency exchange okx.com surging with 114.4% growth and credit check provider clearscore.com growing 39.1%. Clearscore is interesting as the increase in traffic could be due to a number of high-profile data breaches impacting Australian consumers in the past 18 months – particularly those against Optus and Medibank.

SeaLink (sealink.com.au)

“Australians love to travel but, as wallets tighten, there is a shift in the destinations they’re choosing,” Carr said. “SeaLink’s position at the top of a booming travel sector is indicative of the desire to explore closer to home as the business provides ferry services to iconic Australian destinations Kangaroo Island, K’Gari (Fraser Island), and Rottnest Island, among others.”

For those who do venture overseas, Australians are still staying within the region with Japan and China at the top of the bucket list as seen with the impressive triple-digit growth recorded by jrailpass.com and china-airlines.com.  Notable mentions in the Travel and Tourism category include the Japanese train ticket provider jrailpass.com which increased its traffic 185.1% and china-airlines.com which grew 140.1%.

Crocs (crocs.com.au)

“Consumers began buying crocs in earnest during the pandemic when comfort trumped all else. While some may have begun doing so ironically, it’s impossible to go anywhere these days without seeing a significant number of people – particularly younger generations – wearing Crocs,” said David F. Carr, Senior Insights Manager, Similarweb. “Love them or loathe them, you can’t deny Crocs have come a long way from being named in Time Magazine’s 50 worst inventions list in 2010.” 

While the category’s overall winner was an international business, Australian brands dominated the rest of the top 20. Whether it was for circular economy marketplaces (airrobe), outdoor adventure wear (Zorali), or women’s boutique fashion (BabyBoo, NudeLucy, and Billy J), Australians showed a preference for local brands with 13 of the 20 fastest growing businesses being locally grown. Notable mentions in the Apparel and Accessories category include airrobe.com (an Australian circular economy marketplace for luxury brands) which increased traffic by 139%, babyboofasion.com and nudelucy.com.au (women’s fashion brands) which grew their Australian audiences by 122.6% and 102.1% respectively. 

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