The Covid-19 lockdown has seen a “dramatic” change in New Zealanders' shopping habits and it could be permanent, according to new research from New Zealand Post.
Released today, NZ Post’s data shows online shopping increased 105 per cent when the country moved into Alert Level 3 earlier this year, compared to the same time in 2019.
The research shows online spending peaked in late April, with New Zealanders spending over $200 million as the country moved to Alert Level 3 and online stores reopened after many had to stop operating because they weren't essential services.
Chris Wong, general manager of business marketing at NZ Post says not only are more people buying online, but they’re also shopping local.
“The levels of online shopping after Covid are much higher than they have been pre-Covid so I think that indicates that people’s shopping behaviours have changed for good,” Mr Wong told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.
“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 per cent of all online shopping.”
NZ Post’s research also found that those who hadn’t shopped online before were taking it up.
“Our research shows over 170,000 adult New Zealanders shopped online for the first time during the first six months of 2020.”
Kiwi retailers are also making the move online as a result of Covid-19. Julia Jukes, owner of Whakatāne business Rosalita’s says she realised during the Level 4 lockdown period that as a bricks and mortar store only, they would need to move things online to keep going.
"I think it was always one of those things that you did know it was the way of the future but you didn’t do it as quickly as one should... but Covid changed everything …it really just showed that to survive going forward it is an extra tool that you should have in the tool box," says Ms Jukes.
"We were very lucky, our Whakatāne town centre actually set up a virtual town mall so it enabled us to set it up cost effective and very very quickly. Online shopping is the trend of the future and I think businesses need to look to have that extra platform and way to sell."