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Kiwi Shoppers Heading Online In Droves This Xmas

Kiwi Shoppers Heading Online In Droves This Xmas

Auckland, 16th December 2008 - If the shopping malls seem a little quieter than usual in the lead up to Christmas, it could well be because New Zealanders are letting their fingers do the Christmas shopping this year.

Nielsen Online’s most recent Online Retail Monitor shows online shopping expectations relating to the upcoming Christmas season. The report revealed a huge jump in the numbers of those planning to do their Christmas shopping online.

65 percent of New Zealand’s 2.3 million regular internet users aged 18+ anticipate an online purchase for Christmas 2008. This equates to an online Christmas shopping population of nearly 1.5 million.

And with a predicted average spend reaching $496 per online shopper this Christmas, the total online spend this season may exceed $738 million.

Both the number of shoppers and the level of spending per shopper have increased substantially since Nielsen Online began monitoring Christmas purchasing via the internet in 2007. Last year’s festive season saw just (49%) of regular internet users planning to buy online for Christmas with a total spend estimated at $452 million.

“The increase in predicted spend levels could well be the result of the current economic climate,” says Tony Boyte, Senior Analyst, Nielsen Online, New Zealand. “Consumers may be trying to lower their overall Christmas spend by using the internet as a means of researching a wider range of products and brands for price comparisons. Previous waves of this report have shown that a key driver for online shopping is the ability to compare across products and brands, as well as to find a better price than in the shops. Price comparison websites could well be major beneficiaries of the current economic situation."

Unsurprisingly, the likelihood to purchase online increases within younger age groups. 18 to 44 year olds show a significantly greater propensity to shop online for Christmas than those aged 45+.

However, there is a greater anticipated average Christmas spend by the older age groups - both online and offline. The 45+ age group is far more likely to spend more on Christmas purchases via the internet than younger age groups.

While 70 percent of online females foresee a Christmas purchase using the internet compared to just 60 percent of males, men’s average spending surpasses females by $29 online and $16 offline, with the noticeable greater difference being online.

Another interesting point to note, is the similarity between the average spend online and offline for the 45 and over age group. This demonstrates, that although this age group is the least likely to make a purchase online, they are still spending considerable amounts via the internet.

So what exactly are Christmas shoppers looking for online in the way of gifts? It seems the item that most online shoppers are planning to purchase is books (43%). This is followed closely by clothing at 40 percent. At third place, toys are being targeted by (34%) of online Christmas shoppers.

Compared to findings from actual purchasing in the last 12 months, intended online Christmas purchases of products such as books and clothing exceed actual sales in the last year by more than 30 percent. For toys, music, and beauty products, the increase is even more. This signifies that the holiday season may produce a dramatic spike in online purchases within a number of specific gift product categories.

For further information about our most recent Online Retail Monitor report, please contact Tony Boyte, Senior Analyst, Nielsen Online at 09 970 4143 or .

Nielsen Online Retail Monitor, Quarterly Edition, Quarter 3 2008.

About Nielsen Online Retail Monitor

The New Zealand Online Retail Monitor provides the country’s only in-depth look into the nation’s online retailing – combining the wealth of data on this subject contained in Nielsen Media Research Panorama with the online shopper behavioural patterns exposed in Nielsen Online research. The report provides continuous quarterly snapshots of the online ‘market space’ as it evolves and comparative trends with historical data from Panorama. The report aims to deliver an ongoing and highly contemporary analysis of consumer e-commerce mindsets and activities across a range of products and services. This arms organisations with the information required to more thoroughly understand the behaviours, profiles, and perceptions of online consumers, helping to ensure that the best online development decisions can be made.

About Nielsen Online

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (Nielsen Online, which is comprised of NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), mobile insight (Nielsen Mobile), trade shows, and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit,


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