New Zealand Post – national online shopping boomed in 2020

New Zealand Post has shown that Kiwi online shoppers spent close to $1.2 billion more in 2020 than they did in 2019 as a direct result of the pandemic – almost a 20% increase in spending online.

“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.

In December, New Zealand online shoppers spent $538 million, up 17% on 2019, making it the biggest online shopping month in the country’s history. The financial quarter saw a 19% uptick in online shopping.

New Zealand Post saw this firsthand with its parcel volumes in the run-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.