New Zealand Ecommerce Statistics

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

New Zealand can be a little slow in adopting new technology standards, but there is one area where growth here is on par even ahead of other countries – online shopping. These statistics, compiled by eWAY, paint an interesting picture. Perhaps because we are so isolated with many brands or products unavailable to us, or perhaps because we don’t have hugely populated cities with every kind of retailer in one place – whatever the reason, more and more Kiwis are doing their purchasing online. From 2001 to 2010 the percentage of regular internet users who shopped online rose from 21% to 57%, and this number looks only set to rise.

This made for a total of 1.4 million online customers in 2010 – 35% of whom were serial shoppers who had made at least 6 purchases throughout that year. The rate of online business here is higher than Australia or even Asia, where large online retail “malls” are common. Despite having no local equivalent of Amazon or the massive Chinese mega-mall Taobao, New Zealanders are still finding ways to buy online. 44% of consumers use a search engine to look for their purchase, and 34% will do research online before buying. This makes online shoppers much more educated consumers, with online reviews being checked by 57% of people before buying. Perhaps this is another reason Kiwis are taking to Ecommerce; with fewer retailers and brands here, it’s important to maximise your choice.

Or maybe we’re just an antisocial lot. 1 in 2 New Zealanders find online shopping more convenient, and it’s not hard to imagine why. Malls and superstores are crowded and noisy, especially during the holidays. 3 out of 5 New Zealand internet users also find it easier to compare prices and products online, which takes a lot of pressure out of shopping. Top online purchases included air tickets, entertainment and travel – all items that can vary vastly in price.

One thing the statistics don’t mention however, is how much of this shopping is done on local sites, and how much is done internationally. It could very well be that New Zealand businesses are failing to capitalise on this expanding market, with consumers choosing to use Amazon or other overseas retailers instead. The New Zealand dollar has been reaching a solid value against the greenback in recent years, and the cheaper price of American goods and electronics (especially when they haven’t even reached our shores) is extremely tempting.

Kiwi businesses looking to get in on this lucrative consumer audience should understand what makes New Zealanders consider a website for purchase. They look for signs of trustworthiness, take recommendations from friends, and prefer sites with tangible contact information. User reviews, product info and delivery information are also formative to making a purchase.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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