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Kiwis Cautiously Optimistic About Holiday Season Spending

New Zealanders’ appear to be cautiously optimistic about their Christmas spending intentions, according to new research from Accenture New Zealand.

The survey of 777 New Zealanders found that Kiwis plan to spend, on average, $562 this holiday season on gifts and groceries.

Parents ($679), Gen Z ($631) and males ($635) were set to spend the most while single adults living with others ($420), single adults living alone ($446) and females ($503) set to spend the least.

Spending intentions

Global uncertainty will not get in the way of most Kiwis’ spending this holiday season. 53 per cent do not plan to cut spending and will keep Christmas budgets the same as they were last year.

Some will be looking to tighten the wallet with a third (33 per cent) of Kiwis planning to spend less this year than the year before.

Meanwhile others are feeling more optimistic, with 14 per cent saying they will spend more on groceries and gifts this Christmas than they did 12 months ago.

In comparison with other countries, Kiwis appear to be more optimistic with their spending intentions. In the UK 36 per cent of consumers will spend less on Christmas than last year, while in the US that figure stands at 41 per cent of people.

E-commerce grows, although in-store still rules

E-commerce continues to grow year-on-year. 63 per cent of Kiwis plan to shop online this festive season and almost a quarter (24 per cent) plan to buy their gifts using mobile devices.

Hunting down bargains at bricks and mortar shops is very much on the agenda this holiday season for the 79 per cent of Kiwis ready to brave the crowds.

In total, Kiwis say that around 41 per cent of their Christmas gift shopping will be done online. On average, 31 per cent of their Christmas lunch groceries will be purchased online this festive season.

No time for delivery drama

The e-commerce explosion this season also means Kiwis expect to receive a lot of parcels in the post.

In the lead up to Christmas, 34 per cent of New Zealanders expect to be delivered at least one online order every week.

Kiwis also have high expectations and waning patience when it comes to parcel deliveries. When asked about delivery of their online orders, Kiwis expected fast-and-free delivery of their parcels (28 per cent), or to for retailers to present them with a range of delivery options at a moderate cost (27 per cent).

Home delivery will be very popular this holiday season, with 70 per cent saying they will use these services. Meanwhile, 13 per cent of Kiwis will choose to pick up online purchases at their local stores while 3 per cent plan to get their parcels delivered to their workplace.

The research also found that more Kiwis are willing to pick up in-store if they are incentivised to do so. 34% say they would collect items in store if bonus loyalty points would be earned. Other ways for retailers to incentive in-store collections include making it easier (32 per cent) and providing a discount voucher to be used in-store on the day of pick-up (30 per cent).

The research found that for some people, pandemic fears mean they would be unwilling to venture in-store to pick up items. One in five New Zealanders (20 per cent) is concerned about COVID-19 and will opt for home delivery irrespective of incentives to pick up items in-store.

Supporting commentary from Accenture New Zealand Managing Director Ben Morgan:

“It’s been a very uncertain year for Kiwis and retailers. It appears Kiwis will be a bit more cautious with their spending this holiday season but, considering the magnitude of challenges Covid-19 has thrown at retailers, you could say spending intentions have held up rather well.

“Overall, Kiwis’ spending intentions can best be described as cautiously optimistic. That likely reflects how Kiwis are feeling at the moment in terms of the nation’s economic prospects.

“When New Zealand entered lockdown, online shopping became a necessity for many Kiwis. This has helped make e-commerce more familiar and habitual for a lot of New Zealanders. They’ve become more comfortable buying online and this has accelerated the trend towards online shopping.

“For retailers, that means revaluating their online presence and supply chains to make sure they can meet this change in demand. At the same time, they can’t afford to overlook their physical store presence. Almost four-fifths of Kiwis say they will be shopping in store at some point this Christmas so it’s vital for retailers to compete for their attention through offering a superior in-store experience.

“In addition, with parcel deliveries becoming more ubiquitous, the demands of Kiwis for speedy and accurate delivery of goods will increase. To retain customers, local retailers should also invest in good technological solutions for inventory management and order fulfilment or risk having their customers turn to competitors.”

© Scoop Media

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