Online retail sales are accounting for a growing proportion of the Australian retail market, according to new research.

Researchers at Frost & Sullivan have suggested that online shopping will account for nearly 10% of all sales in Australia by 2017, up from 7% today. 2013 online sales in Australia are expected to total A$18.3bn and Frost & Sullivan has forecast a compound annual growth rate of 13.1% over the next five years.

Significantly, the researchers emphasised that an online offering is necessary as part of an omni-channel approach.

“Today’s consumers demand and expect omni-channel shopping experiences from retailers, which involves using multiple channels such as online, physical stores, in-store kiosks, social media, product comparison sites, product review sites, general web searches and e-mails,” Frost & Sullivan said.