Online shopping is climbing through the roof. And so is online scamming. Something to watch over the big sales days ahead.

NZ Post reports that online retail spending totaled $765 million in October, up a whopping 71% over October 2020. And this represented 17.2% of the total retail spend, whereas online spending has tended to hover in the 11-12% range.

To reach those numbers, we made 7.1 million online transactions in the month, with the average shopper spending $492.

Obviously the closure of physical stores in Auckland, Waikato and Northland had something to do with those sharply up figures (Auckland was up a huge 110%). Still, if the Food, Groceries & Liquor sector is excluded, which was largely available both online and offline during October, online made up a massive 26% of October’s retail spend across the other sectors. 

The long term trend is undeniable … Kiwi consumers are more and more comfortable making online purchases. There were over 300,000 more online shoppers this October versus last. For the first ten months of 2021, online spend has been almost 50% higher than the same period on two years ago. And on average, online shoppers are buying something online every week.

NZ Post projects that annual online spending will reach around $7.26 billion for 2021. That’s about 25% higher than 2020, which in itself was 25% up on 2019. 

And some good ‘buy local’ news here – 74% of the October spend was with Kiwi retailers.

Now, for the bad news.

New research from the Domain Name Commission indicates just under a fifth of New Zealanders (18%) report they have been scammed shopping online. And a further 11% say they have almost been scammed.

As one precaution – back to the ‘buy local’ theme – 40% of New Zealanders check to see if the website address is a .nz domain. And 61% say they are more likely to buy from a .nz website address.

The Commission runs a ShopSafe NZ campaign to give New Zealander’s tips to help them spot a .nz website that might be a scam. Check it out. Better safe than sorry!


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