Online retail spending rises

online shopping1Total online retail spending was up 16 per cent in April compared to the same period the previous year, with clothing and food purchases key contributors, according to the latest BNZ monthly report on New Zealand’s online retail sales.

Online spending by New Zealanders at local merchants was up 14 per cent in April compared to the prior corresponding period, well ahead of the seven per cent annual growth rate for sales at physical stores, according to Statistics NZ figures for electronic card transactions for core retail excluding hospitality.

“Clothing and food purchases, including “other specialised food”, have been key contributors to higher spending over the past 12 months, responsible for approximately 60 per cent of the increase in online spending at local merchants since April last year,” said Gary Baker, director of Institutional Research at the Bank of New Zealand.

Online spending at local computer, department and entertainment media stores has also grown strongly. Online spending at offshore sites was up 19 per cent in April, compared to the previous year.

“Part of this growth will reflect higher offshore prices in NZ dollar terms. Computer and entertainment media stores again featured strongly,” Baker said.

According to the latest figures reported in Statistics New Zealand’s RTS, the $3.4 billion in online retail spending, excluding GST, for the 12 months ended March 31 was equivalent to 6.9 per cent of reported retail sales, for the categories covered.

“If we exclude the grocery and liquor sectors from both the RTS and our Index, annual online spending is equivalent to 10.3 per cent of officially reported retail sales,” Baker said.

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