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Online Shopping in NZ is Maturing Nicely: PriceMe

31st July 2013

Online Shopping in NZ is Maturing Nicely: PriceMe

What’s hot and what’s not in online shopping in 2013?

Comparison shopping site PriceMe has just released the results of its 2013 PriceMe User Survey, which reveals some useful and surprising insights into online shopping behaviour in NZ. The survey asks a range of questions about online shopping habits such as time spent online, online research prior to purchasing and use of social media for shopping information.

Surprisingly, only 50% of shoppers say that price is the most important thing when considering buying something online, which begs the question – what else is important for shoppers? Purchasing from a reputable brand is important to 30% of respondents and around 20% said that buying from a reputable retailer was as important as price.

Daily Deal sites appear to have fallen from favour this year. In 2011, 63% of survey respondents said they regularly used daily deals sites, but this number has been dropping each year, with only 54% saying they regularly use these sites now.

Smartphone ownership and use in online transactions has more than doubled in two years from 29% in 2011 to 66% in 2013, with continued growth in this segment highly anticipated. Tablet ownership has increased from 10% in 2011 to 45% in 2013.

Social media has also become an important factor in many people’s online shopping behaviour, with 43% saying they regularly post a product review or a comment on their shopping experiences on a social media site, and 61% saying they had been influenced to purchase something by what they’d read on social media.

PriceMe marketing director Chris Palmer says the 2013 results not only confirm that online shopping in NZ is continuing to grow, but also the way we shop online is rapidly evolving. “Commerce conducted on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets has reached a critical mass, and retailers need to respond accordingly. It’s still surprising how many well-known brands have still not developed responsive-design versions of their websites that are optimised for various devices and screen sizes. This is critical if they want to capture their share of business from nearly half the online community who shop using their smartphone or a tablet” says Palmer.

“The survey results also confirm that online shopping is becoming increasingly social, with shoppers freely sharing their experiences with others, and looking for reviews and ratings on products and retailers more and more before committing to a purchase. Retailers that have been using social media platforms to communicate, share their product or promotional information and listen to their customers needs, have a significant advantage over those retailers who aren’t active in this space.”

Online shopping has been in the headlines again recently with the Govt looking at the pros and cons of taxing online purchases, sparking considerable debate from both sides of the argument. Some NZ retailers are pushing for a level playing field with regards to GST, but it’s meeting resistance from a growing community of online consumers. They say our prices are already uncompetitive by world standards, and that we should maintain the current no-GST for purchases under four hundred dollars when shopping on overseas websites.

For better or worse, the debate has put the spotlight back on this awakening giant of commerce that has become such an integral part of how we now research and buy the things we need each day.

About PriceMe
Over 300 PriceMe users participated in the 2013 survey - 43% were male and 57% female. PriceMe is the leading comparison shopping site in New Zealand, providing shoppers with information on over 700,000 products from almost 400 NZ retailers. Users can search and read product reviews, view product videos, and post their product and retailer ratings to help other shoppers.


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