Faster internet speeds and an influx of smartphones have made online shopping easier and increasingly popular.
Major retailers hit back last week by launching a $200,000 campaign to lobby the Federal Government to apply the GST and import duties to foreign online retailers.
At present, online purchases of less than $1000 from foreign sellers are exempt from GST and import duty. Research for e-commerce business PayPal Australia predicted Australians would be spending $36.8 billion online by 2013, compared with $26.8 billion last year. Experts predicted the surge in online shoppers would continue, spurred on by the roll-out of the national broadband network. "If you are an Australian retailer that does not have an online store today, you are not meeting the demands of the retailer," PayPal spokesman Adrian Christie said. "In Australia, we are still seeing retailers with small inventories online and bigger inventories in-store."