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NZ Post reports long-term increase in online shopping post-Covid

It’s not surprising to learn that online shopping more than doubled in New Zealand in late April, when the country moved into alert level 3.

Non-essential services were still closed, but people were free to buy clothes, beauty, homewares and any other item they wanted online for the first time in four weeks. It’s only natural there was a lot of pent-up demand.

According to NZ Post, which released its annual online shopping report, The Full Download, online spending peaked at more than $200 million in late April, and it received more than 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of alert level 3.

These are some of the headline statistics in the report, but arguably, the more interesting finding is the fact that online shopping levels remain 30 per cent higher than the same time last year, according to Chris Wong, general manager of business marketing at NZ Post.

“[Covid-19] has forever changed the way Kiwis shop,” he said. “Buying your groceries and other everyday items online and having them delivered has become the new norm for many.”

According to NZ Posts’s research, 170,000 adult New Zealanders shopped online for the first time during the first six months of 2020. The month of May saw a 62 per cent increase in the number of people in the 60-plus age category shopping online.

“Not being able to pop out to the shops meant that Kiwis looked online if there was something they needed, or wanted, to buy,” Wong explained.

And many are still doing so.

In addition, NZ Post found that shoppers are continuing to buy local, with domestic online sales making up 71 per cent of all online shopping.

“This is a trend that we expect to see in the months ahead, particularly as the rest of the world continues to deal with the pandemic,” he said.

Some other findings from the report include:

  • total online spend during level 3 (April 28-May 13) was 83 per cent up on the same period in 2019
  • average spend per transaction was $107
  • number of Kiwis shopping online in May was 1.5 million, a 28 per cent increase from May 2019
  • average weekly online spend on specialty food, groceries and liquor was up 105 per cent year on year in level 3; homewares, appliances and electronics was up 135 per cent; clothing and footwear was up 62 per cent

NZ Post has recently announced a 10-year $170 million investment in infrastructure, including the construction of a new ‘super depot’ for parcels, in Grenada, Wellington, due to open in 2022.

NZ Post plans to invest around $18 million in the latest global technology for the super depot, that will sort and scan parcels at a much faster rate.

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