The latest Nielsen Online Retail Report is now with us, and it reveals the usual tantalizing collection of statistics and trends.
Probably the most significant (and inevitable) is the dramatic growth in shopping through mobile devices, as the growth in smartphone penetration in New Zealand is mirrored in device usage. As Nielsen notes:
New Zealanders shopping online ‘anytime, anyplace’ on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, increased significantly last year.Nielsen has found that 41 percent of smartphone owners made a purchase via the device and 58 percent of tablet owners. There are now 655,000 people shopping on their smartphones, growth of 127 percent year on year and 414,000 on their tablet (a 73% increase).
Tony Boyte, Research Director, Nielsen, explains, “For those purchasing via a smartphone, growth comes from those who are now comfortable using all the benefits it has for making shopping decisions on the go. But for tablets, their use in the shopping process is in line with ownership growth. As tablet ownership grows, we expect to see an even bigger increase in purchasing using a mobile device over the next year.”
Boyte continues, “Mobile devices also have a considerable role in the path to purchase. New Zealanders are using their smartphone and tablets for researching products, competitive price checking, finding store locations and shopping lists. Smartphones in particular are constant companions to shoppers on-the go either in-store or while travelling.”
By the way, we called the above findings inevitable because they’ve been trending that way for some years, and the tipping point just arrived. That’s why we feature Mobile Shopping strongly in our Mastering eCommerce online course and why we’ve recently introduced a new Mobile Marketing course.
Trade Me Still Number One for Kiwi Online Shoppers, But Watch The Warehouse
To no-one’s surprise, Trade Me continues to dominate the segment, reaching 56% of All New Zealanders (2+). What’s of particular interest, however, is The Warehouse, which has grown its audience 30% year on year. That growth is in line with one of its four current Strategic Priorities, to ‘be the leading multichannel retailer in New Zealand’. As the Warehouse Group noted in its 2013 annual report:
Multichannel and direct customer engagement
More and more Kiwis are shopping on our online store – we now have our full range of general merchandise, apparel and over a million books available and we have launched Red Alert, our daily deal site. Our online customers can now personalise their account telling us what their interests are, and key dates in their lives so we can tailor our marketing and communications with them.
Our online offerings ensure New Zealanders can shop “Anywhere, Any Way”. They also give us more opportunities to be the ‘House of Bargains’ with unique offers, like our recent successful sale of Piaggio Scooters, chicken coops and rabbit hutches on ‘Red Alert’.
We will continue to improve our online store and make it easier for our customers with new developments such as our ‘click and collect’ option which means customers can buy online and pick up in store and our soon to be launched mobile app, making it even easier to buy online.
100,000 More Kiwis Now Shopping Online
The Nielsen Online Retail Report shows continuing growth in eCommerce. Kiwis have well and truly embraced internet shopping. There are now 1.9 million New Zealanders shopping online, 56 percent of the total population. The number of people shopping online increased by over 100,000, growth of six percent in the last year.
Kiwis are now buying online more often
At the same time, the number of purchases made by each person is buying is increasing at a rapid rate. Nearly half a million Kiwis each made 11 or more purchases on the internet last year, an increase of 58 percent in the last two years. This is reflected in spend with $3.8 billion spend online in 2013 and an expected increase to $4.15 billion this year.
What did they buy? These were the most popular categories:
Nielsen notes: “While all of these categories have traditionally been strong for online shopping, we are seeing great growth in the number of people purchasing clothing/ shoes/ accessories, books/ magazines, plus smaller categories such as computer equipment, baby supplies, furniture, consumer electronics and groceries.”
$1.3 billion spent by New Zealanders on websites based overseas
The BNZ Online Retail Sales Index data we’ve been tracking (here, here and here) shows that the big growth story in online shopping is Kiwis buying from international stores. The Nielsen data reinforces that, reporting that “$1.3 billion is spent by New Zealanders on websites based overseas, with USA, Australia and the UK the most popular. 34 percent of the total amount Kiwis spent shopping online is spent overseas, an increase from 26 percent the previous year and double that of 2010.”