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Nearly half of all adult NZers now Shopping Online

Nearly half of all adult New Zealanders now Shopping Online - an all time high says Nielsen

Daily deal sites, the introduction of debit cards, evolving technology and social media contributing to online shopping momentum

Auckland, 20 April 2011: The number of New Zealanders aged 18+ making transactions online by the end of 2010 reached an all time high of nearly 1.5 million. This was an increase of over seven percent ahead of 2009 and significantly, with 46 percent of the adult population making a purchase online, this is nearly double the figure of six years ago.

In addition, those who already shop online are now also buying more via the medium, with those people purchasing four or more items online in the past year increasing by 25 percent compared to 2009. “As consumers become more comfortable with the transaction process and outcomes, they then begin to shop online more frequently.” notes Tony Boyte, Associate Director of Research, Media, New Zealand, The Nielsen Company.

What are the underlying drivers fuelling online shopping growth?

Two thirds of online New Zealanders say they receive e-mail alerts from daily deal websites and a very high 40 percent say they have made a purchase from such a site in the past three months. The proliferation of such websites and especially the new phenomenon of group buying sites are no doubt helping to increase the volume of purchases made online in the New Zealand market place.

Many consumers are now also being encouraged to shop online by the recent introduction of debit cards for purchasing via the web. Although the use of credit cards are still the most popular option (50% most preferred for online purchasing), debit cards are increasingly being utilised, having grown to 19% from 11% last year for most preferred. (See Chart 2 below) Debit cards appear to be especially attractive to women, younger age groups and those with lower incomes who in some cases may not have access to credit cards.

The Nielsen Online Retail Report also shows that the consumer’s ability to shop online is being aided by those who have access to technology such as broadband and mobile devices such as smart phones (although this latter technology is still really at the early adopter stage with regards to items being purchased via a mobile phone that are not for use on the device itself).

Add to this convenience of access, is the impact of social media. Consumers appear to be not only researching more and more product areas on the internet but are then also spreading the word online by discussing their research with other consumers via online message boards, blogs and social networks, which in turn impacts retailer sales both on and offline.

Should the buck stop here?
The Nielsen Online Retail Report also shows however, that the value of purchases made from international websites has risen from 17 to 21 percent as a proportion of all New Zealand online spend in the past year.

“The ability to purchase items not available locally seems to be a very significant driver to buy overseas, highlighting the opportunities that could be available to New Zealand retailers if they can tap into this market. A number of consumers also claim that goods are cheaper to buy on international websites, indicating that the rise in purchasing from such sites could potentially be because of GST increases in New Zealand in October, as smaller purchasers (under $400) from overseas do not incur taxation for bringing them into the country” Mr Boyte added.


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