The number of New Zealanders shopping online has reached an all-time high, with over 1.4 million New Zealanders making a purchase on the Internet in the past 12 months, according to recent research conducted by Nielsen. This represents an incremental increase of 2.4 percent on the previous year.
Nielsen has today released the findings of its 2010 Online Retail Report which shows that 45 percent of New Zealanders are now shopping online. The overall increase in the number of online shoppers, while having stabilised somewhat over the last year, still shows very strong growth compared to 39 percent of the population at the end of 2007, and is close to double what it was five years ago.
In addition, the biggest growth in online shopper numbers has been amongst those with high purchasing activities – more than one third of New Zealanders who shop online (35%) made six or more purchases on the Internet in the past 12 months, an increase of 12.7 percent on the past year.
The most popular items purchased online in the past 12 months were airline tickets, books/magazines and entertainment tickets (pictured chart). However, in the top ten categories, entertainment tickets has seen the fastest growth in online sales the past year. Clothing and health & beauty items also enjoyed strong growth compared to last year.
The Nielsen report also highlights that a much more significant number of New Zealanders say that they would consider purchasing online in each category in the future than are currently doing so. This includes such categories as grocery shopping, home appliances, furniture, consumer electronics, collectibles and toys.
“We’ve again seen growth in the number of people taking up online shopping in New Zealand in the past year,” observes Tony Boyte, Research Director for Nielsen’s online division. “But what’s even more significant is that New Zealanders have strongly increased their number of online purchases within the year and are considering purchasing via the Internet across more categories in the future, which is a sign that growth in online shopping is really set to continue.”
New Zealanders’ perceptions of online shopping have improved significantly in the past few years, and 61 percent of New Zealand Internet users say they find it easier to compare products and prices over the Internet. Close to half of New Zealanders (49%) find online shopping to be more convenient. The Nielsen report also identified that a high number of New Zealanders prefer to purchase from New Zealand online retailers as opposed to international sites, if the products or services are available locally.
“Perceptions of online shopping have come a long way in recent years and online retailers will no doubt be encouraged to learn that New Zealanders see the Internet as an excellent medium for comparing products and pricing,” states Boyte. “What’s important now is that New Zealand’s retailers look to fill the gap around product availability online and further encourage New Zealanders to stay local.”