Shoppers shift online

Other key findings:

• Retail is at critical juncture as online shopping expenditure in New Zealand has grown by 19 percent in the past year, and is expected to grow by more than 14 percent per annum over the next four years. 
• 1.9 million New Zealanders aged over 15 are expected to shop online and spend an average of NZ$1659 in 2012. 
• International websites account for 35 percent of New Zealand online shopping. Expect more growth in this area. 

PwC partner and retail industry spokesperson Julian Prior says the research shows online is now mainstream for New Zealand shoppers. 

“It’s all about having the ability to access the best price on offer, while perusing greater and wider product range.”

Online retail sales now make up 5.9 percent of New Zealand retail sales, up from 5.1 percent in 2011 and comparable with Australia’s 6.3 percent.

The most popular online purchases are electrical items (65 percent), clothing (62 percent) and books (52 percent). The biggest jump has been food and groceries, now purchased online by 21 percent of shoppers.

Over 36 percent of online purchases are now made on mobile and smartphones, and 12 percent on tablet devices, which is expected to drive continued growth in online shopping.

• Senior writer Nick Grant will examine the key drivers of success in New Zealand’s retail sector in NZ Management magazine’s September issue.

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