COVID-19 has almost doubled e-commerce sales

E-commerce sales in New Zealand have almost doubled compared to the same period last year, according to data provided by Emarsys and GoodData.

According to the Covid-19 Commerce Insight report pure e-commerce sales in New Zealand were 189 per cent up year on year as of 15 April, though the statistic dipped to 115 per cent up as of 19 April.

More general online retail has likewise risen 156 per cent year on year as of April 19 – the highest the statistic has been in 2020 so far.

“Pureplay e-commerce and online retail activity are trending positively in New Zealand due to the relative success of the stage 4 lockdowns and the increase in customer confidence as the country appears to have seen the worst of the pandemic,” Emarsys APAC managing director Adam Ioakim said.

“E-commerce is now more important than it has ever been – both from a business point of view to mitigate cashflow issues and from a consumer point of view to get access to goods and services.”

New Zealand 2020 online retail sales. Source:

And with the New Zealand Government’s announcement that the country will move out of Alert Level 4 lockdown and enter Level 3 lockdown on April 28, more and more businesses will be capable of trading safely online.

After the announcement online sales saw an immediate boost, according to retail marketing consultant Sarah Dunn.

“Consumers right now are shopping with only a very few large businesses, with many feeling frustrated and financially vulnerable,” Dunn said.

“As a result, we are seeing a retail climate with more sensitised shoppers on the lookout for price gouging – which can be an additional challenge for businesses to navigate.”

Dunn believes when more retailers are open for business online the tension between shoppers and retailers will settle, with choice and trust in the market to return hand in hand.

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