Almost half of Kiwi SMEs chose to invest in eCommerce software since the pandemic

Published on 16/02/2021 by Sonia Navarrete

Digital transformation of New Zealand SMEs

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak last year most organisations have introduced to protect their bottom lines. In the process, businesses were likely to shift their focus to short-term sustainability rather than investing into digital innovation and transformation.

SMEs in New Zealand have also followed this trend by showing readiness and positivity when it comes to accelerating digital investments and going virtual with the help of collaboration and communication tools during the pandemic.

We surveyed over 600 business leaders of Kiwi SMEs gain insights into their digital priorities and decisions since the start of the pandemic, and to understand their business strategies and investments. (the full methodology is available at the bottom of the article)

The findings reveal that even through the instabilities caused by the pandemic, businesses have continued to invest in their digital infrastructure. And while most Kiwi businesses are satisfied with their digitisation investments, many are also considering further overhauling their IT infrastructure by replacing or eliminating legacy and inefficient technology platforms to set them up for longer term success.

eCommerce software was the most popular business investment

The survey analysed businesses’ categories since the coronavirus outbreak and found that eCommerce software was the most purchased software solution investments in a range of software by 49% of respondents.  Online meeting software (48%) ranked a close second, closely followed by website software with 47% of the organisations purchasing the software to use either on a temporary or permanent basis.

Software that businesses considered or purchased

94% of kiwi businesses are satisfied with their new software investments

Organisations are investing more in technology infrastructure as the digital maturity of New Zealand’s economy continues to rise. 54% of ANZ CIOs report that the funding for digital innovation in their organisation increased in 2020 due to the pandemic, and two-thirds expect it to further rise this year, according to a Gartner research.

94% of respondents are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their new software. Only 6% expressed dissatisfaction. Crucially, 80% say their investments has helped them to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked to share the top three positive impacts resulting from the new software purchases, most respondents ranked the top three as enabling businesses to operate remotely (53%), improving engagement with customers (50%), and increasing productivity (48%).

positive impact of newly bought software

Investment in sales and promotions is on top of the digitisation agenda for 2021

The survey looked at some key software investments by organisations in New Zealand over the last year, in terms of eliminating or replacing the old ones. It also looked at the areas of the businesses where they plan to invest the most on digitisation.

When it comes to the software renewal decisions, 48% of respondents intend to replace at least one of software solutions due to a failure to meet their current needs. Another 24% cite an inability to keep up with evolving business models as the primary reason for replacing software. Almost a third (2%) will eliminate old software for the same reason, while 7% of respondents plan to retire at least one software programme due to financial constraints.

software to replace or eliminate

The areas of business where decision-makers plan to invest this year are very diverse. The results of the survey show that most businesses are keen to invest on digitisation of their sales, amplification and promotions arm (63%).

most investments in sales and promotion

Kiwi businesses anticipate benefits from adopting emerging technologies

New Zealand’s government is encouraging the adoption of a digital approach to modernise and transform the public system, putting citizens and businesses at the centre of government services. This has set high standards and motivation for kiwi organisations at large to become digitally mature, making the country a consistent top performer of the Digital Intelligence Index.

More than half of the respondents (58%) anticipated big data analysis to be the most valuable emerging technology for their businesses.

Most valuable emerging tech for New Zealand SMEs:

  • Big data analytics (58%)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (52%)
  • Internet of things (IoT) connectivity (41%)
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (36%)
  • Cloud-based data storage (36%)
  • Blockchain (3%)

The recent COVID-19 crisis has prompted transformation across the country, and organisations will now have to integrate the ability to innovate into their core. The growing culture of innovation is fuelling business resilience and economic recovery in New Zealand. Continuing to develop digital infrastructure will ensure businesses can go on to create more jobs and deliver effective services to optimise the economy.

Looking to optimise your digital transformation strategy? Check out our catalogue.

Survey methodology

Data for this study was collected in December 2020 from an online survey of 608 respondents that live in New Zealand.

To participate in the survey, respondents had to be:

  • Employed full-time in one of the following roles:
    • Owner, founder or other head of an organisation
    • C-Suite executive e.g. CEO, CIO
    • President of Vice-president
    • Director
    • Manager
  • Working for a company of up to 250 people
  • Working at the organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.


This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.


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