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NZ Online Retail Sales: Rural v Urban Spending

Please find attached BNZ’s latest report on the NZ Online Retail Sales.

In addition to the latest figures, the feature analysis this month takes a look at trends in online retail spending by Rural and Urban New Zealanders.



Total online spending in May 2014 was up 7% on May last year.

• Growth continues to ease – the underlying trend has now been fairly flat since February 2014.

• Online spending at domestic online sites is up 4.6% on May last year. This is slower that the 5.6% growth rate in Statistics NZ’s Electronic Card Transactions figures (if we count similar industries), which predominantly includes physical stores.

• Online spending by New Zealanders at offshore retailers is 11% higher than May 2013.


• Total online retail spending by rural New Zealanders has grown 20% over the 12 months to 31 March 2014, outpacing the 14% growth rate for urban residents.

• The growth in online retail shopping has been especially strong for rural kiwis buying from international retailers, where spending has increased 27% over the year to March 2014.

• Rural residents do more of their online shopping at domestic merchants than urban shoppers do. 67% of online retail spending by rural kiwis has been at domestic merchants’ websites. For urban shoppers, 61% of their online retail spending has been at domestic sites.


We also include a brief summary of key differences between our online retail measure and the measure Nielsen use in their annual survey report.


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