Australia’s e-commerce market to grow by 8.4%, while global retail ad revenue to reach $101b: GroupM

Research from GroupM has estimated Australia’s e-commerce market will grow by 8.4%, below last year’s growth of 24%.

The Australian retail market has continued to see growth nearly double the headline inflation rate, with demand remaining resilient even as consumer confidence falls sharply, according to GroupM’s E-Commerce & Retail Media Forecast 2022.

By 2027, retail sales in Australia could amount to A$602 billion with 19% of retail occurring via e-commerce channels.

The overall ad market for e-commerce continues to expand, with more products becoming available across a growing number of platforms. These audiences are increasingly activated in the mid- and upper-funnel, but the importance of operating owned channels is growing as consumer acquisition costs and return on ad spend come under pressure.

GroupM estimates that global advertising revenue for retail-based companies was $88 billion in 2021 and will reach $101 billion this year. This amounts to 18% of global digital advertising and 11% of total advertising.

As a percentage of global e-commerce GMV, this amounts to 1.8%. It’s expected that retail media advertising will increase roughly 60% by 2027. This exceeds the growth rate expected for all digital advertising, meaning that retail media will take an increasing share of digital ad revenue over the next five years.

Retail e-commerce marketing leaders are firmly establishing themselves in Australia. eBay has continued to innovate and show resilience following a period of deceleration, retaining its top position in the local digital commerce traffic. Amazon continues to outperform, with traffic up 20% versus the prior year, according to SimilarWeb.

“Without the rocket-fuel of lockdowns driving both demand and investment, growth is increasingly driven by sticky value propositions and a focus on customer lifetime value. While the surge and high-growth or e-commerce in recent years saw businesses quickly pivot to adopt ecommerce at all costs, these changing market dynamics require a more savvy and nuanced approach to e-commerce growth in the future, and to meeting consumer needs through omnichannel strategies,” said Sean Bone, GroupM Australia GM of commerce.

“The current cost of living crisis, may well impact consumer confidence, but is unlikely to impact the broader shifting of behaviours towards online. E-commerce now represents 9% of Australian retail sales, when we exclude food sales to provide an apples-with-apples view across markets. That figure will double to 19% over the next five years. In turn, that market power will fuel the continued growth of Retail Media. There we see ongoing expansion of offerings and audiences, beyond their native platforms, as well as the entrance of new players providing healthy competition.”

For the year, it’s estimated that total retail will amount to A$504 billion with e-commerce accounting for 8.7% of this figure.

E-commerce growth has shifted from a secular expansion driven by lockdowns to a value-proposition and loyalty-led growth. Digital commerce in Australia has seen 400,000 fewer monthly active shoppers, impacting discretionary purchases and mega sales sites, however stickier platforms and propositions have seen continued growth, including up to 50% year-over-year growth in grocery, according to company filings.

Half of digital commerce sales volume is coming from only 13% of households, so the ability to attract, retain and grow sales through high customer lifetime value cohorts is proving key to long-term sustainable growth.

Growth in the second half of 2022 in Australia is expected to decelerate as we cycle out of lockdowns and revert to traditional seasonal peaks and valleys.

Grocery and fashion categories are still seeing significant growth, with Coles and Woolworths both reporting approximately 50% year-over-year growth in calendar Q1. Click-and-collect remains a key pillar supporting this increase, with published data showing a consistent 14% of sales, even as household penetration sits at just under 10% for this vertical, according to Australia Post.

See below the overall forecast and other key facts:

  • 2022: Global retail media is likely to reach $101 billion in 2022 (15% higher than a year ago) and will surpass $160 billion in annual revenue in five years’ time.
  • We estimate global e-commerce to make up 19% of global retail sales in 2022, growing to 25% by 2027.
  • Retail media ad revenue represented 18% of global digital advertising revenue in 2021 and 11% of total global ad revenue.
  • Twenty of the top global e-commerce companies accounted for 67% of global e-commerce sales in 2021.
  • We estimate global e-commerce sales of $5.4 trillion dollars this year
  • China and the U.S. alone will make up 52% of that figure
  • Nearly 61% of the total, $3.3 trillion, can be attributed to just seven markets: the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, the U.K., Canada and Australia.

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