Research Methods
Research Methods

Where’s the source?

We’ve used data from a variety of sources to bring you The Full Download 2019:

  • 2017-2018 transactional card data from Datamine.
  • Census 2013.
  • Other eCommerce research and reports referenced in the footnotes where appropriate.
  • NZ Online Shopper Survey 2018 commissioned by NZ Post, interviewing over 2,000 New Zealand online shoppers from 22nd November to 4th December 2018.

To help geographical insights, data has been aggregated to an area unit level and where it makes sense these have been replaced with specific suburb or locality names. All dollar amounts are in NZ Dollars unless otherwise stated.

All figures are from Datamine unless otherwise noted. To ensure data is representative of the wider New Zealand eCommerce landscape, weighting is applied to remove any known imbalances.

Specifically excluded from our core online transactional samples are the following merchant sector groups: travel and tourism, online lotteries, betting and ticket agencies etc., cafés, restaurants and bars, digital consumed goods and services (including subscription services such as Spotify, Netflix etc.), utilities, insurances, tax payments, buying and shopping services and clubs, transportation services, associations and organisations.

In order to keep a tight focus on retail, only transactions within the following merchant sector groups are included:




We have used Statistics NZ geo boundaries to define rural, urban and metro. Main metro covers the main urban areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Rural is defined as an area with 300-999 residents – everything outside of urban areas is considered mainly rural.


Full sector names as follows have been shortened throughout the report for ease of reading. Clothing & Footwear, Department, Variety & Misc, Retail Stores, Health & Beauty, Homewares, Appliances & Electronics, Recreation, Entertainment, Books & Stationery, Food, Groceries & Liquor.

Changes to Datamine methodology

There were some changes to the methodology we applied to The Full Download 2018.

What the changes were:

  • Inclusion of marketplace transactions to the report (where they had previously been excluded).
  • Increase in the weighting applied to the contactless debit card transactions.
  • An algorithm was created to make adjustments to transaction volumes to address the multiple payment instalments seen in Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) transactions.
  • Recategorisation and reclassification of transactions to a merchant level (with the help of Afterpay).

Why changes were needed:

  • As new information was discovered, it was identified that the handling of marketplace transactions needed to be amended.
  • The rise of contactless debit cards and BNPL transactions needed to be addressed.

What the effect was:

  • New online category for marketplace transactions.
  • Minimised the potential underestimation of year-on-year growth due to contactless debit cards being underweighted.
  • Appropriate inclusion of BNPL transactions at a merchant level.
  • As the result of the above changes, 2017 transactions data used in this report has improved.