Online shopping hits all-time high in NZ

Growth in numbers shopping online slows to 2.4 percent

Online shopping has reached an all-time high in New Zealand, with over 1.4 million people making a purchase on the internet in the past 12 months, according to Nielsen.

This represents an incremental increase of 2.4 percent on the previous year.

Nielsen today released the findings of its 2010 Online Retail Report, showing that 45 percent of New Zealanders now shop online. The increase in online shoppers has slowed over the last year, however, but is close to double what it was five years ago, Nielsen says in a statement.

The biggest growth in online shopping has been amongst those with high purchasing activities. 35 percent made six or more purchases online in the past 12 months, up 12.7 percent on the past year.

The most popular items purchased were airline tickets, books and magazines, and entertainment tickets. Entertainment tickets has seen the fastest growth in online sales the past year, while clothing and health and beauty products also enjoyed strong growth.

Many New Zealanders also say they would consider purchasing online in the future in categories such as grocery shopping, home appliances, furniture, consumer electronics, collectibles and toys.

Tony Boyte, research director for Nielsen's online division, says the number of online purchases have increased considerably within the year and many are considering online shopping across more categories in the future, a sign that growth in online shopping is set to continue.

"Perceptions of online shopping have come a long way in recent years and online retailers will no doubt be encouraged to learn that New Zealanders see the internet as an excellent medium for comparing products and pricing," says Boyte.