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Online cash boosts retailers, Kiwi sellers still lagging

The Christmas shopping season saw more Kiwis go online for purchases, but the rate of online spending growth by New Zealanders on Christmas Day was higher for retailers whose sites are based offshore than for locals.

That’s according the latest provisional numbers by BNZ and researchers Marketview, which a 13 percent year on year boost in online retail spending by Kiwis.

Online purchases from domestic retail stores was seven percent higher than December 2012, while those from offshore sellers was 24 percent higher on the same month last year, the figures showed.

“The level of online spending by New Zealanders at offshore merchants was down slightly from its seasonal peak in November, but the underlying trend continues to show very high growth rates,” BNZ says.

Domestic online spending was dragged down by the decline in New Zealand ‘daily sales’ stores, it says, saying these sales are still running at levels below those of a year ago. If these sales were removed from the figures, domestic online spending for the month would have risen by nine percent on last December.

Some of the retail categories to experience double digital growth in December 2013 over the previous December were groceries and liquor, furniture, sport and camping equipment, toys and games, entertainment media and garden supplies.

The BNZ’s monthly update showed Kiwis’ online shopping last Christmas Day and Boxing Day had grown strongly, with 13 percent growth year on year for Christmas Day and 17 percent for Boxing Day.

“An extremely rough estimate is that online sales account for over 25 percent of New Zealand retail sales on 25 December across the categories we measure,” the report says.

“The large online share is not totally surprising, given that most physical stores are closed. It is also interesting that close to 60 percent of the online shopping on Christmas Day is for purchases at overseas sites.”

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