Online sales increase in December
New Zealanders continue to look towards online retail channels, with total online retail spending in December up 14 per cent compared to the previous year, bringing the 2016 annual spend level to $3.75 billion, according to the latest BNZ data.
Spending at offshore sites eased slightly from its November seasonal peak, but underlying growth remained very strong.
Purchases from overseas online retailers in December were up 17 per cent on the previous December, with approximately half of the increase coming from clothing, computer and electronic stores.
Spending at local sites was up 13 per cent on the previous December; confirming the early data that pointed towards continued double-digit growth, and eclipsing the growth rate at bricks and mortar stores (approximately 4% per cent ).
Food, clothing and department stores stood out, driving over 60 per cent of the increase on the previous December.
According to BNZ, Wellingtonians chose online options, following the Kaikoura earthquake on November 14, which caused major disruptions for businesses in impacted areas, as well as affecting the shopping habits of consumers.
Following business closures in the Wellington region, local cardholders look to have turned to online options for more of their shopping needs in the second half of November.
Total spending for cardholders from the Wellington region, at online retailers in the two weeks following the earthquake, was up 24 per cent on the same period a year prior.
Looking at just the domestic online stores over November, Wellington area shoppers increased their spending significantly at online grocery and food retailers. BNZ said this category has been experiencing high growth nationally, but the increase in the Wellington region was particularly marked, up by approximately 40 per cent on last November’s spending. Online spending by cardholders from the Wellington region was up 9 per cent on the prior December, behind the national growth figure of 14 per cent.
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