The biggest increase in spending was observed in online spending at overseas merchants, which was up 28 per cent compared with October last year.
The strong international growth in kiwis purchasing offshore was influenced largely by an increase in the purchase of electrical and electronic goods, including TVs and mobile phones.
One factor that may have influenced October’s spending in this sector was the release of the Apple smartphone on September 26, one month earlier than last year’s product releases in October which saw spending rates increase in November.
Online purchases from local online stores increased by four per cent compared with October 2013.
International merchants have made a 2.5 per cent gain in market share over the past 12 months, with 57 per cent of online sales in the month of October completed offshore, and 43 per cent locally in New Zealand.
Traditional retail sales at bricks and mortar stores for the three months ending September 30, 2014 were up 3.4 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
Online retail sales for the same three month period increased by 7.6 per cent.
Of note, the increase in domestic purchases rose 3.6 per cent in the quarter, compared with the September quarter in 2013.
Overall, online retail sales counted for 6.2 per cent of all retail sales for the 12 months to September 2014.
When groceries and liquor are excluded, the rate is 9.5 per cent.
The mix of what kiwis are spending their online dollar on is very similar to that of three months ago.
Compared with the same three month period a year ago, groceries and liquor were up 17 per cent, furniture, housewares up 11 per cent, entertainment and media up two per cent, and electrical and electronic up 29 per cent.