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The global story

There are so many trends emerging in the super-fast and very dynamic world of eCommerce. We decided to pull out five global trends that we see as shaping the future of eCommerce in New Zealand.

1. Eye-watering growth 

From our small island nation, it can be difficult to get our heads around the sheer magnitude of the world of eCommerce and how this colossus continues to grow. Retail eCommerce sales worldwide are projected to increase from $2.7 trillion in 2018 to $4.2 trillion in 2023.

Reference: Sales figures refer to Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and converted into NZD using ANZ exchange rate dated 8 May 2019

2. Reshaping the map

This incredible global growth in international eCommerce is reshaping the map. By 2023, sales in Asia Pacific are projected to be greater than the rest of the world combined. It’s not driven by a reduction of shopping in North America or the rest of the world: rather, it is rapid growth in Asia Pacific with China leading the charge. Figures suggest Asia Pacific will account for some USD 1.4 trillion, leaving the rest of the world to share the remaining $1.3 trillion of the online pie.2 The reasons behind this are rapid urbanisation, the rise of the Asia Pacific middle class and technology playing a game of leapfrog.1


Potential international market opportunities:
Top five commodities purchased*


Population: 66 million

Clothing & footwear 23%
Consumer electronics 13%
Health & beauty 13%
Jewellery & watches 12%
Home & garden 12%



Population: 328 million

Clothing & footwear 28%
Consumer electronics 17%
Jewellery & watches 14%
Health & beauty 13%
Books, media & music 10%

Source: United States Census Bureau


Population: 1.362 billion

Clothing & footwear 42%
Consumer electronics 38%
Health & beauty 28%
Jewellery & watches 27%
Computers 23%

Source: United Nations


Population: 126.9 million

Clothing & footwear 28%
Health & beauty 27%
Books, media & music 16%
Consumer electronics 12%
Household appliances 11%



Population: 1.42 billion

Health & beauty 41%
Clothing & footwear 25%
Baby & child 15%
Jewellery & watches 15%
Consumer electronics 14%

Source: United Nations estimates


Population: 25.4 million

Clothing & footwear 26%
Consumer electronics 17%
Health & beauty 15%
Books & media 14%
Jewellery & watches 10%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

* Source: Cross-Border eCommerce Shopper Survey 2018, Key Findings – All Countries, (November 2018), International Post Corporation

3. The Omni-channel experience

Globally, customers are not shopping the way they used to. They are increasingly browsing on mobile devices, purchasing on desktops or walking into store to complete their purchase. There are now a number of paths in the customer journey that need to work together, to deliver a consistent level of customer experience across different channels. Key to this is the use of structured data or Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) to enrich the information about your products. This is the information that Google robots can search for and tell consumers what and where the product is stored. With data on hand you can turn each of your stores into fulfilment centres, or drive more Click and Collect traffic into store and, importantly, make it easy for your customers to browse and shop for their products the way they want.

Did you know
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Did You Know?

When it comes to delivery, shoppers said most important were:

  • Delivery charges (90%)
  • Speed of delivery (68%)
  • Delivery notifications/tracking status (23%)
  • Range of delivery options (20%)

Free delivery is most desirable, but shoppers understand they should pay more to have things delivered overnight or within the same day. For Kiwi retailers, quicker and more visible delivery should be an advantage over global competitors.

Source: NZ Online Shopper Survey 2018

4. The rise of social shopping

The increasing use of mobile technology is changing buyer behaviour and the way we discover. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest can now show looks and styles that people want to share with their friends with links to where to buy the products. Instagram’s “Shoppable Posts” and Pinterest’s “Shop The Look” and Snapchat’s Snap Store, are just some of the new platforms that target the hundreds of millions of global active users. These shoppable platforms can redirect you to the retailer’s site or allow you to complete purchase completely in-app. For many retailers, this is very attractive as it takes away the burden of having to create their own eCommerce site, with all the financial and security issues that come with the territory.

5. Faster, flexible deliveries

Consumers, especially millennials, want immediacy. There’s real pressure on retailers to offer overnight and even same day delivery. In some US, UK and Australian cities, it’s down to a matter of hours. Amazon Prime, for example, charges £6.99 for a one hour delivery in London. Customers are increasingly wanting same day delivery and many are willing to pay for it. At the IPC annual conference 2018, Same Day service was ranked number one when delegates were asked what domestic eCommerce delivery service customers would expect as standard in five years’ time.3

1. Source: Statista Digital Market Outlook 2019
2. Source: Global eCommerce Statistics and Trends to Launch Your Business Beyond Borders, February 2019.
3. Source: IPC Annual Conference Survey 2018
4. Source: Statista Digital Market Outlook 2019

Figures are calculated based on information gathered from multiple sources below; methodology may vary across different countries.
(What is included in eCommerce and retail sales might differ between sources.)
1. China:
2. United Kingdom:
3. Germany:
4. United States:
5. Australia: and Statista Digital Market Outlook 2018
6. France:
7. New Zealand: Datamine (what is included in ecommerce and retail sales might differ between sources)
8. Italy


Continue to:   The Australian experience


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