‘COVID-19 has forever changed the way Kiwis shop,’ says NZ Post
New research from NZ Post has indicated that online shopping increased 105% when New Zealand moved into Alert Level 3 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the experience ‘may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently’.
Online spend peaked in late April, with New Zealanders spending over $200 million online as the country moved to Alert Level 3, and online retail reopened, according to NZ Post’s new eCommerce Spotlight research, conducted with Datamine. In Alert Level 3 shoppers could also have their ‘non-essential’ items purchased during Lockdown, delivered. This resulted in NZ Post receiving over 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of Alert Level 3 – about 200 parcels per minute.
“While this surge dropped off as life started to return to normal and more ‘bricks and mortar’ shops began to open, online shopping remains about 30% up on this time last year, with early indications signalling that COVID-19 has forever changed the way Kiwis shop,” said Chris Wong, General Manager of Business Marketing, NZ Post. “Buying your groceries and other everyday items online and having them delivered has become the new norm for many.
“Not being able to pop out to the shops meant that Kiwis looked online if there was something they needed, or wanted, to buy. Our research shows over 170,000 adult New Zealanders shopped online for the first time during the first six months of 2020. We saw people in the 60 plus age category take to online shopping, with a 62% increase in this group shopping online for just the month of May.”
Wong continued: “One of the trends Kiwi retailers will be most happy about has been the continuation to buy local, with domestic online sales making up 71% of all online shopping. This is a trend that we expect to see in the months ahead, particularly as the rest of the world continues to deal with the pandemic.”
NZ Post said that it has been gearing up to meet the continued growth in online shopping with its recently-announced ten-year $170 million investment programme on infrastructure. The programme has begun with construction of a new ‘super depot’ for parcels, in Grenada, Wellington, due to open in 2022. NZ Post plans to invest around $18 million in the latest global technology for the super depot, that will sort and scan parcels at a much faster rate.