Online Shopping in New Zealand

In no time at all, the “new normal” has become a cliche. Along with “Be Kind” and “Team of five million”, the “new normal” is one of the latest additions to the mythical New Zealand phrasebook. It might have already become an overused term, but NZ Post’s online shopping report hasn’t been afraid to further embrace the phrase in describing Kiwi shopping habits during the pandemic.

Their report, The Full Download,  is full of interesting facts and figures, made even more fascinating by how we were forced to shop during the height of the lockdown. For example, NZ Post says that online shopping peaked at 200 million dollars in late April, and they received more than 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of alert level 3.    

Some of the other stand out findings in the report include:

  • Online shopping levels remain 30 % higher than the same time last year.
  • Shoppers are buying local, with domestic online sales at 71 % of all online shopping.
  • 170,000 adult New Zealanders shopped online for the first time during the first six months of 2020.
  • There was a 62 % increase in the number of over 60s shopping online.
  • The number of Kiwis shopping online in May was 1.5 million, up 28% from May 2019
  • The average weekly online spend on specialty food, groceries and liquor was up 105 % year on year in level 3. Meanwhile, spending on homewares, appliances and electronics was up 135 % and clothing and footwear increased by 62 per cent.

Statistics like these have compelled the top brass at NZ Post to reach for the cliche book. For example, Chris Wong, the general manager of business marketing had this to say: 

“[Covid-19] has forever changed the way Kiwis shop. Buying your groceries and other everyday items online and having them delivered has become the new norm for many.”

The “new norm” is good news for an organisation like NZ Post.  They’ve recently announced a $170 million investment in infrastructure over the next 10 years, including the construction of a new ‘super depot’ for parcels in Wellington. Scheduled to open in 2022, the depot will feature the latest in global technology that will sort and scan parcels at a much faster rate, and lead to speedier delivery. The information contained within The Full Download should act as yet another reminder that many New Zealand businesses need to improve their online game if they want to capitalise on the changes we’ve observed in recent months. If Chris Wong of NZ Post is correct and online shopping is the “new norm”, eCommerce marketing companies are going to be very important players in the brave new world of digital retail.   


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