NZ Post’s eCommerce Spotlight research into how COVID-19 has impacted the way Kiwis shop online shows that New Zealanders spent a total of $5.8 billion online in 2020, about $1.2 billion more than in 2019.

“This is an incredible result,” says NZ Post General Manager of Business Marketing, Chris Wong. “Our research throughout 2020 showed that online shopping was continuing to increase, and now that the year has finished we’ve conducted research that shows Kiwis spent more online last year than ever before, with 2020 online sales up 25% on the year before. The good news for Kiwi businesses is that 71% of all online spend was with domestic retailers.”

“2020 was the year online shopping stepped on the accelerator. Early in the year, before COVID-19 started to impact us in New Zealand, spending numbers were up about 12-15% in the first few months. Then COVID-19 hit and this changed the shopping landscape in a major way, especially during lockdown when physical stores were inaccessible to most.

“Those already online spent more often across more sectors and those who hadn’t tried online shopping before discovered its ease and convenience – with more than 305,000 New Zealanders shopping online for the first time ever in 2020,” says Chris Wong.

The year ended on a strong note. Kiwis spent $538m online in December, up 17% on the same month in 2019, making it the best December in history for online shopping. Off the back of a strong November, this resulted in a final quarter of 2020 that was 19% up on the same quarter in 2019.

This reflects the number of parcels seen by NZ Post in the lead up to Christmas. “Our people worked hard in the lead up to Christmas to get Kiwis' parcels where they needed to be on time. We delivered 15.3 million parcels across November and December – that’s about 6 parcels delivered every second. We brought on hundreds of extra people, flights, vans and additional sites to deliver this record-breaking Christmas for Kiwis.”

“While 2020 was a good year for online shopping, it’s important to note that it only makes up 11% of all our shopping. Going to the shops is still how most Kiwis choose to shop. For example, in the UK, US and China over 20% of all spending is online. This suggests that, even after this year’s boom, there is plenty of room for further growth for local online retailers,” says Chris Wong.

Source: New Zealand Post