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Online Retail Sales

October 2018 online retail sales

29 November 2018


  • New Zealand’s total online retail spending in October was 11% higher than in October last year. Growth in online purchases from local retailers outpaced the growth in purchases from overseas sites, for the eighth month in a row.
  • Annual online spending across the retail categories we cover is now running at approximately $4.5 billion (excl GST). This is equivalent to 7.9% of total retail sales reported in Statistics NZ’s Retail Trade Series (RTS), comparing like-for-like categories. Excluding the food and liquor sectors from both the RTS and our Index, annual online spending is now equivalent to 11.4% of retail sales.
  • Spending at local online sites continued recent strength and was up 14% compared to October last year. This is significantly above the 5.5% growth rate for spending at traditional stores. Local clothing purchases were exceptionally strong, up more than 25% on last October.
  • Online spending at international sites was up 6% compared to October last year. The NZD is weaker by a similar amount versus the US$, £ and €, compared to last October, which is making offshore items more expensive in NZD terms. However, while the 6% rise in offshore spending may partly reflect higher prices, shoppers could be also be buying more items, but substituting some goods for less expensive alternatives. It will be interesting to see if the gap in growth rates for international versus local purchases persists as the effects of the weaker NZD start to flow through into local retailers’ inventory costs.

Read the full BNZ Online Retail Sales Index report PDF 709 KB

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Previous online retail sales reports