What are they buying?

The online market is always changing – driven by trends, exchange rates, by delivery speeds and cost, and increasingly influenced by finance offers. 2018 saw the shifting of the sands for some sectors with both opportunities and threats emerging for New Zealand retailers.

The Department & Variety sector grew by 10% and dominated with 31% of all online spend. What’s encouraging for New Zealand retailers is 62% of this was spent domestically. 

Yes, a large proportion of spend is going overseas – especially in the Clothing & Footwear and Entertainment, Books & Stationery sectors where almost 50% of sales go abroad. But there are signs the tide is turning – particularly in Clothing & Footwear, which is the fastest growing domestic sector with 45% growth and now more than half of all online spend (53%) in this sector stays in New Zealand.

31% of all online spend was in the department & variety sector

There’s also real growth in the Homeware & Electronics and Food, Groceries & Liquor sectors with 23% domestic growth a piece. The Health & Beauty sector, on the other hand, continues to be one of our smallest sectors with just 9% of online sales and growth of only 12% over 2017. 

The Food, Groceries & Liquor sector has clearly benefited from our lifestyle changes. With big metros suffering from traffic gridlock and time-poor people, sales in complete meal kits like My Food Bag and grocery deliveries will continue to grow. 

Go to The sectors to read the full details for each sector.

Did you know
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Did You Know?

The most important criteria for shoppers (across all sectors) when choosing an online store are:

  • Cheapest price (77%)
  • Range of goods (72%)
  • Delivery charges (57%)
  • Great customer service (26%)
  • Lots of delivery options (18%)
  • Has a permanent store in New Zealand (16%)

Source: NZ Online Shopper Survey 2018

Note: Clothing & Footwear grew +28%, Department & Variety grew +10%, Health & Beauty grew +12%, Homewares & Electronics grew +20%, Entertainment, Books & Stationery grew +9%, and Food, Groceries & Liquor grew +18%


Continue to:   Where are they buying from?


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