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Online Retail Sales

May 2017 online retail sales

29 June 2017


  • The growth rate for New Zealanders’ total online retail spending was back to double-digits in May, with spending up 14% compared to the previous May.  This result does seem to confirm earlier suspicions that the timing of Easter and weather contributed to the dip in growth rate observed in April.
  • Purchases from offshore online retailers were up 16% on May last year, typical of where this segment has been tracking.  Approximately half of this growth was driven by purchases in Computer, Clothing and Cosmetic categories. 
  • Spending at local online retailers was up 13% on May last year.  We’ve now seen double-digit annual growth rates for 18 out of the past 20 months for local online merchants. For comparison, local bricks-and-mortar stores were only up 4% on May last year.
  • Food, Clothing and Electronics were responsible for the majority of growth at local online sites, with Department stores also experiencing strong results.

Read the full BNZ Online Retail Sales Index report PDF 432 KB

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Previous online retail sales reports

Total online retail spending by New Zealanders in March was up 17% compared to the previous March, continuing the strong growth pattern observed so far in 2017. 
·         Annual growth in purchases from offshore online retailers pushed through the 20% mark for the second time over the past 12 months.  International purchases in March were up 22% on March 2016.  Computer, Clothing and Electronic stores accounted for just over half of the year-on-year increase. 
·         Spending at local online retailers was up 12% on March last year, with food categories and Department/Variety stores again experiencing strong growth.  Online momentum is continuing to outstrip that of local bricks-and-mortar stores, where sales grew approximately 4% compared to last March.

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