If you are not an online shopping expert by now, you probably soon will be. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of technology across many industries and the retail sector was one that was forced to pick-up brick and mortar stores and transition to an eCommerce shop. This reality has pushed many people to their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops in order to buy essentials as well as facilitate their Christmas shopping.
To help brands better understand this dramatic shift in behaviour, GetApp surveyed 1,013 shoppers from New Zealand to show how the pandemic is changing the way Kiwis shop, as well as if they think these changes will last in the long-term (*see below for the full survey methodology).
Change in shopping budgets and platforms for Kiwi customers
New Zealand as a country took one of the most aggressive approaches to COVID-19 by entering stage 4 lockdown early and for an extended period. While in recent months restrictions have eased significantly, the strict border closure has caused shopping malls to experience a sharp decline in foot traffic. Even with the country relatively COVID-19 free, the virus has caused many Kiwis to alter their shopping habits.
When it comes to overall expenditure across both in-store and online platforms, 44% of Kiwis are still spending the same amount of money as before the pandemic with 33% spending less money and 23% spending more money than before the pandemic.
However, looking at where Kiwis spend their money there is a definite shift toward online platforms over traditional brick and mortar shops. Almost half of New Zealand shoppers (49%) report spending more online and less in-store.
Yet whether this remains a long-term move is yet to be played out. Early indications suggest that shoppers are wanting to go back to a traditional in-store shopping experience. Over the next six months, 41% of respondents believe they will move to a hybrid model spending the same amount of money via online and in-person platforms.
Respondents prefer online delivery to avoid in-store crowds
The festive period including the lead-up to Christmas and the days directly following the holiday is a critical time of the year for many retailers. COVID-19 has created the demand for many businesses to offer online shopping with 34% of New Zealand shoppers stating they will spend more online and less in-store due to the current environment.
22% also don’t associate the in-store experiences with raising their Christmas spirit and 43% are more inclined to shop online due to the convenience it affords.
New Zealand is also seeing more use of online delivery services with 45% of shoppers turning to online delivery once or twice a week since the start of COVID-19. When asked for the top reasons for using online delivery, 51% said that it was to avoid contact with crowds in-store.
Kiwi shoppers choose independent online stores over eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and, eBay
When questioned about the most preferred eCommerce brands, the responses across New Zealand were varied. Shoppers were asked where they typically shop online, and while established online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy were used, 35% of Kiwis preferred independent online stores. This was followed by 19% opting to shop directly from a retailer or brand website, and 12% choosing to shop from Amazon.
Moreover, 45% of shoppers in New Zealand said they have purchased from one or two new online stores since the start of the pandemic, 32% said they haven’t discovered and purchased from a new online store at all.
There is a significant opportunity for eCommerce vendors to grow their business in the current economic environment. However, with few established brands dominating the space, it is vital they understand the trends driving consumer behaviour and adopt a strategy that reflects this.
*Data for the GetApp Customer Experience Survey was collected in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,013 respondents from New Zealand. The survey data used for this article comes from all of the above participants who qualified to answer. The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants. The criteria for participants are consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months.