Kiwis embrace online retail, Facebook looks to capitalise with ‘buy and sell’ feature

Nielsen research director Tony Boyte advises brands and retailers to develop both digital and physical platforms, as consumers are becoming less likely to distinguish been the two. 

This insight follows on from the latest study conducted by the research company, showing that nearly two million New Zealanders are shopping online. The research shows reveals a 40:40:20 rule is at play, with 40 percent of respondents saying that they were shopping online because of convenience, 40 percent being drawn to the e-commerce prices and 20 percent claiming that they get good value online. 

“E-retailers have an advantage where they can pass real estate cost savings onto their customers to undercut the bricks and mortar businesses,” said Boyte in a statement accompanying the release of the research. “Additionally digital can be used as a promotional tool to sell excess stock without wasting prime shelf space.”

Consumers were also showing an increased willingness to shop via the mobile channel, with 23 percent of respondents saying that they now made purchases through their smartphones while 19 percent also admitted to using tablets. 

The research showed that the broad availability of items online was also a major draw card for some of survey participants, with 20 percent saying that they primarily shop online to acquire items not available in local areas. 
“The seemingly limitless options available in a virtual environment provide new opportunities for both merchants and consumers” Boyte adds.

And while there is clear growth in the online space, the research also showed that bricks-and-mortar retail continued to appeal to consumers and that online and in-store channels were converging. 

Approximately 57 percent of online shoppers having looked at a product in-store and then bought online (often to secure a cheaper price), yet only five percent do this regularly. On the other hand, 84 percent of New Zealanders have been prompted to go in-store to purchase an item following browsing online.

This research comes at a time when Facebook is also making a move into the online retail space by trialling a ‘buy and sell’ feature in the Kiwi market.

“We are testing a new way on Facebook for more people to easily discover, buy, and sell items to other people,” a Facebook spokesperson says. “Organic person-to-person commerce is already happening on the platform, and we are continuously exploring ways to make this experience more engaging and accessible to a broader Facebook audience.” 

“It is currently only available in Auckland. It is a very early test, and we do not have a timetable on when we will expand it more broadly.” 

Facebook seems keen to avoid any reason for users to leave its site – hence its shop now options for businesses pages, its recently added embedded newsfeed news and now this.

Sites like Trade Me, eBay and even user-created buy and sell Facebook groups could be under threat if this feature comes to fruition.

Testing the feature out in Auckland is a smart decision, as second-hand products seem to be a hot commodity in New Zealand.

Thrift shopping is more popular than ever (just ask Macklemore), as is secondhand trading site Trade Me.

It was named New Zealand’s fifth favourite website, behind YouTube, Facebook and Google’s sites.

Cash Converters has also recently undergone a revival and rebranded, as well as launching five new stores.

Judging by these Statista figures, Facebook is late to the party, as the rising trend of second-hand goods has flattened out and is predicted to decrease.

We’ll keep you posted on whether or not the social media giant decides to try dominate the second-hand market.

Part of this story was originally published on The Register

Comments are closed.