In recent years, we’ve seen a growing trend where the sale day promotions progressively start earlier and last longer. This trend was particularly exaggerated this year with the debut of a new sales event and many retailers seemingly offering a whole month of deals. As a result, we saw the month’s sales highs on days other than the designated event days. The first peak was the day before Singles’ Day, most probably driven by ‘Click Frenzy’ which kicked off on 9 December. This popular Australian online shopping event launched in New Zealand for the first time this year and looks like it has already outperformed Singles’ Day. It certainly is an online event that Kiwi online retailers need to watch out for.
The biggest day of the month was Wednesday 24 November, two days prior to Black Friday, with over $42m spent in a day. The day before Black Friday also topped $40m while Black Friday itself was just below the $40m mark.
The big spend period has historically been the four-day weekend which spans Black Friday to Cyber Monday. This year, spending exceeded $141.3 million, up 23% compared to the same four days in 2020 and up 60% on 2019. These numbers were driven by over 1.1 million online purchases.
The reopening of Auckland retail
After months of restrictions on retail stores, on 10 November Auckland’s stores re-opened, albeit with masks and social distancing requirements. Online spend fell in the week that followed, as Aucklanders embraced the freedom of returning to the stores, but it rose again the following week as the Sales Events drove increasing daily spend.
Key November stats for Auckland:
- Auckland’s online spending was up 58% from November 2020 and over double that of November 2019.
- Growth was driven by a 69% increase in the number of online transactions compared to November 2020.
- Nearly 627,000 Aucklanders shopped online in November 2021. That’s 21% up on November 2020.
- Auckland shoppers made up 44% of New Zealand's total online spending in November 2021.
- The average Auckland shopper spent more money, and shopped more often, in November 2021 than the year before. They made 5.2 purchases online in November 2021 (up from 3.7 in 2020) and the average monthly spend was $625 – up $148 (31%) compared to November last year.
- Aucklanders embraced sales events to a greater extent than the rest of the country. Online spending over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday ‘four-day weekend’ reached $49 million, up 32% on the same period in 2020. New Zealand as a whole experienced 23% growth over that long weekend.
Driving towards a record year
November has always been a big online sales month with sales events and the start of Christmas promotions. Despite the volume challenges retailers faced in previous months we saw the eCommerce sector adapt and embrace the sales opportunity with great effect.
The new Covid Protection Framework (“the Traffic Light System”) has now seen more retail stores reopen and more shoppers, including Aucklanders, enjoying the in-store experience. And with Auckland’s borders also reopening in December, many Kiwis will get off their computers and out and about this month. Despite these newfound freedoms, we expect November’s online spending momentum to keep going in December, as Kiwis finalise Christmas presents and holiday plans.
The year to date online spend of $6.9b is already over half-a-billion dollars above what 2020’s full year spend was. With a big December in the works we anticipate that annual online spending will exceed $7.5b for 2021 and potentially get to $7.7b and above. Even the conservative $7.5b number represents significant growth of over $1.2b and 20% on 2020, a year which was already over a billion dollars, and 25%, up on the year before.
The data used in this eCommerce Spotlight is based on anonymised card transactional data supplied by Datamine. We are continually reviewing and refining our methodology to bring our readers the most relevant and accurate information possible. At times, as we update our approach, this creates some discrepancies with previously published information. While we won’t go back and adjust earlier published information, when comparing current information with past periods we will always do so using a consistent like-for-like methodology.