Basket size, the average size of each online transaction, has plateaued at $108, up $5 on two years ago, a dollar up on Q1 21 and just a dollar short of the highs of 2020. Most interesting is the comparison with physical store transactions, where the average basket size for the quarter was $56, just above half that of online.
Recreation, Entertainment, Books & Stationery continues the strong comeback we saw last quarter, following a very disappointing 2020. It saw a 27% increase in sector spend online, compared to the same quarter in 2020, with strong performances from both local and international retailers. The Clothing & Footwear and Health & Beauty sectors are both slightly up on Q2 2020 spend numbers. Compared to the highs of Q2 2020, at first glance the remaining sectors look like they are in decline. The reality is that all sectors are well up on where they were at the same time in 2019.
A year ago we saw huge growth in Department, Variety & Miscellaneous Retail, Homewares, Appliances & Electronics and Specialty Food, Groceries & Liquor. This reflects lockdowns where we were all working from home, setting up home offices, getting groceries delivered and buying new equipment. Compared to those numbers, Q2 21 was somewhat underwhelming for these sectors with all three seeing declines in spend. Homewares, Appliances and Electronics saw the biggest decline, 23% down on the same period in 2020.
Who’s shopping, where and when.
The regions that lead the way in 2020 continue to do so in 2021. Auckland’s spend in Q2 21 was even higher than the peak a year ago and 54% higher than the same period in 2019. Gisborne and Taranaki were only 2% down on the same period in 2020 and 61% and 77% respectively up on two years ago. Overall between Q2 19 and Q2 21 we see an average increase of 38% across all regions.
A year ago we saw the over 60 age groups show the highest growth rates, with many buying online for the first time. While this year their overall shopper numbers are up, the level of growth is significantly lower. Interestingly, it’s the younger 20-25 age group leading the way for growth.
Over the last year we’ve seen the continued growth of Wednesday as a key online shopping day. A third of all online shopping now happens on a Tuesday or Wednesday, largely as a result of a declining share of transactions on Friday and Saturday.
Key Shopping Trends
Our weekly spend analysis has started to show some distinctly positive spend trends in the back half of the quarter and in particular with overseas spend. These are signs that potentially support growing shopper confidence and lead us to feel even more optimistic about the prospects for Q3 and Q4. We’re encouraging our retailers to start planning now for what potentially could be record breaking quarters ahead.