Australia Post will give the Easter Bunny a much needed helping hand this year, with chocolate deliveries expected to soar.
Chocolate lovers will spend on average more than $72 each buying sweet treats online this Easter, according to new Australia Post research.
The big spend comes as more Australians are online shopping than ever before, with purchases rising 11.5 per cent in the past year.
Australia Post General Manager for eCommerce Ben Franzi attributed the increase to Australians' taste for a sweet deal.
"Australians love a bargain and love online shopping because of price, choice and convenience – those are the factors that are really driving online purchases this Easter," Mr Franzi said.
The research involved a survey of 2000 Australia Post customers. More than a third of respondents said they would buy an item online this Easter, the main reasons being to avoid crowds (41 per cent), convenience (39 per cent) and to access better prices (38 per cent).
Overall, the Australian online retail market was worth $21.6 billion in the 12 months to December 2016, according to NAB's Online Retail Sales Index. "Most Australians shop online locally, with domestic purchases accounting for more than 80 per cent of all online sales," Mr Franzi said.
"We are also seeing more and more of our customers take up our range of delivery options, such as Safe-Drop, where a customer asks for a parcel to be delivered to a safe spot at their house so they can receive a delivery when they are not at home, or using one of our free 24/7 parcel lockers."
Australia's oldest family-owned chocolate maker, Haigh's Chocolates, has experienced steady sales growth since it opened its online store in October 2014. Haigh's spokesperson Fiona Krawczyk said online sales peaked one week before Good Friday, a couple of days before the instore sales spike.
"Interestingly Queensland, where we do not have a physical store, has become our third largest online market," Ms Krawczyk said.
"Australia Post's Express Post service helps us deliver all of our Easter orders to every corner of our country, ensuring that Australians have a great Easter and their Haigh's chocolates.
"This year we will use over 75 tonne of chocolate to create our Easter range and will sell over 4.5 million Easter eggs of all sizes and 50 000 Easter Bilbies. We are in fact still making Easter eggs at our factory in Adelaide."
Australians will also spend on average more than $90 each on other types of gifts this Easter, such as books, fashion items and homewares, according to the Australia Post research.