One of the trends Kiwi retailers will be most happy about, over the last six months, has been the continuation of the trend to buy local. While domestic online sales grew by 53%, international sales were down 5% on the same period last year. With the current ‘See NZ. Buy NZ’ sentiment, this is a trend that we expect to see continuing in the months ahead.
Lockdown drove another interesting change in shopping patterns during the week. While Tuesday continues to remain the most popular shopping day, over lockdown we saw the rest of the week evening out. Sundays emerged as the preferred day for online grocery, driving a big increase in weekend numbers. Pre-lockdown online weekend spending across all sectors averaged around $9.6m per day but post-lockdown this number has risen to around $15.6m per day.
At $2.8b, online shopping over the first half of 2020 is 30% above the same period last year. What’s even more astonishing is that over this same six month period overall retail spend declined by 1%, driven by physical retail’s big declines over Levels 4 and 3 when their doors were shut.
The forced necessity of lockdown drove this online growth activity but ongoing convenience, safety concerns and the formation of online shopping habits should see these higher levels continue. Getting your groceries, and other everyday items, online and having them delivered (or click & collect) has become the new norm for many. The opportunity is now for retailers to maintain their new customers and to build on the new, higher and more often, spending habits of their existing ones.