New Zealand shoppers spent NZ$7.67bn online in 2021

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Online shoppers spent NZ$7.67bn (US$5bn) in 2021, the New Zealand (NZ) Post E-commerce Spotlight report shows.

Published four times a year, NZ Post’s E-commerce Spotlight report uses the latest shopping data to highlight the changing trends in shopper behaviors that are shaping the future of online shopping.

The 2021 report shows a 52% growth in online spending compared with 2019, as many new consumers embraced the safety and ease of online shopping. The report also shows that from October to December of 2021, New Zealanders spent a massive NZ$2.5bn (US$1.6bn) online – up 45% on Q4 in 2020 and 71% up on the same quarter in 2019.

Singles’ Day in 2021 recorded a NZ$30.8m (US$20.4m) online spend, 30% more than 2020. Black Friday recorded NZ$39.8m (US$26.3m), up 17% on 2020, and Cyber Monday NZ$39.5m (US$26.1m), an increase of 19% on 2020.

The report shows the average online shopper spent NZ$3,567 (US$2,362) throughout 2021 (up from NZ$2,913 (US$1,930) in 2020). The average monthly spend per shopper last year was NZ$297 (US$196).

Clothing and footwear led the way with an increase of 34%, representing approximately NZ$1.58bn (US$1.04bn). There was also strong growth in department, variety and miscellaneous retail (26%), as well as in recreation, entertainment, books and stationery (22%).

Physical in-store retail spending was up 1% or NZ$654m (US$433m) from 2020. Historically, it’s been the 45 to 60 age group dominating online shopper spend but in recent years, the report has documented younger shoppers growing at the fastest rate.

In 2021, 15 to 29-year-olds and 30 to 45-year-olds increased their online spending by 25% – meaning that their combined online spending made up 43% of 2021’s total online spending. Auckland had the largest growth in online spending, with an increase of 27%. Following closely behind is Gisborne with 26% and Northland with 20%.

Chris Wong, general manager of business marketing at NZ Post, said, “Another year of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions saw Kiwis spending more online than ever before. We started to see record parcel numbers when New Zealand went into Covid-19 lockdowns. Last year saw the longest sustained period of retail being closed in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, and with buying online the only option for many, we’ve continued to see online shopping grow to a whole new level. However, there is no doubt, whether we are in a lockdown or not, that online shopping is now a major part of how Kiwis shop every day.”

“October to December is peak season for retailers and includes big sales day events like Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With lockdown restrictions firmly in place leading up to this period, we saw many retailers adopting new and different promotions, starting much earlier and running for longer periods.”

“With an extended period of high spending leading up to Christmas, it was feared that Boxing Day might not have lived up to its reputation for driving a shopping frenzy. However, that was not the case. Nearly NZ$195m (US$129m) was spent on Boxing Day across both online and off. Online spend was up 29% on Boxing Day 2020, driven by nearly 184,000 online transactions for the day. Like the earlier big sales events, Boxing Day promotions seemed to start much earlier and extend well beyond the day and into the new year, allowing retailers to finish the year strongly.”

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