July 14, 2018      3 min read

Make sure you stay ahead of the curve this financial year. Find out about the fastest growing eCommerce trends in New Zealand.

New Zealand consumers increasingly use online shopping

Each year, more and more New Zealanders are shopping online – as much as 12-15% per year for the last few years, according to the Bank of New Zealand. Consumer research also shows about 66% of New Zealanders shopped online in the last 12 months; forecasted to reach as high as 83% by 2026. These trends are accompanied by higher volumes of customers doing their research online – including price and product comparisons, and even comparing cross-jurisdiction purchase options.

Hot eCommerce categories

Savvy businesses will be aware that discretionary rewards or impulse buy type of goods feature amongst the most popular eCommerce purchases. Travel and travel-related items commonly have been the strongest sellers. Other trendsetters include lower-cost items like food, through to higher-cost items clothing and electronic and entertainment goods. Online purchases of furniture and houseware are also becoming increasingly routine.

Web presence for eCommerce goods and services

In New Zealand, the Internet footprint for businesses that sell goods and travel services is by far the biggest. This includes popular sites like TradeMe (and even Farmers and The Warehouse) and Air New Zealand. Users of these sites want more of the buy now, pay later, and faster delivery options.

The other growing web presence is eCommerce services. Small businesses, in particular, are opting to use user-friendly online booking systems to help customers arrange appointments for haircuts, beauty and nails, and sunbed sessions.

Buy now, pay later, and fast delivery

Consumers want to buy goods now, receive them, and pay the bill off later over instalments. A number of major retailers, mostly clothing stores, offer these features. How customers pay for purchases is also adapting. Large numbers are increasingly happy to pay online with credit cards either directly or through intermediaries like Paypal. Following the theme of instant satisfaction, there is also growing demand for rapid shipping options where merchandise is ordered and shipped for same-day or next-day delivery. A strong focus on lower lead times requires businesses to focus on improving their inventory control and logistics practices.

Social media advertising

Channelling content to consumers has carried on its pivot towards social media networks. Not only is it the most rapidly growing form of advertising, but social media-based advertising is also being used in versatile ways. Businesses increasingly use social influencers who have large follower bases to promote products in ways that tap into themes and content. This has helped move product more effectively. It seems that rules and regulations are proving to be slow to catch up with this type of promotion.

Seasonal demand

Without change, the lead-up to Christmas is the most popular time of the year for online shopping. Some online retailers record more than 40% of annual turnover for some types of goods in this period. This is followed by a surge in goods being listed, predominantly on TradeMe, in the days that follow Christmas; Boxing Day also sees a large spike in online interest. Other occasions, like Valentines Day and even Singles Day, have also begun to generate more sales on the web. For businesses, coping with these seasonal peaks can be challenging – an effective response requires solid inventory control and a focus on accurate forecasting.

eCommerce for enterprise

Uptake of business-to-business eCommerce opportunities for business persistently lags business-to-consumer. Software as a service (SaaS) has a growing presence in New Zealand and there has been a noticeable change in services such as data security, financial technology (fintech), inventory control, and supply chain solutions. But when it comes to physical stock procurement, B2B eCommerce has not fully reared its head. More B2B transactions shifting online is likely to be a major trend over the next few years.

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