Only few Kiwis to shop online this Christmas season: survey

While New Zealanders are generally keen online shoppers, only 16 per cent of shoppers are anticipating they will head online to buy gifts this Christmas.

The bulk of Kiwis (79 per cent) are still looking to shop at local brick and mortar retailers this Christmas season, according to a MasterCard commissioned research on consumer shopping trends.

While New Zealanders are generally keen online shoppers, with more than half (55 per cent) shopping online at least once a month, only 16 per cent of shoppers are anticipating they will head online to buy gifts this Christmas.

Of those heading online to shop, 10 per cent will be trawling local websites for their Christmas purchases, with a further 6 per cent taking advantage of the strong New Zealand dollar to shop on international sites.

“Kiwis in general have really embraced online shopping, however it seems when it comes to buying Christmas gifts, the bulk of consumers still like to tread the pavements and select gifts in person,” says Peter Chisnall, MasterCard New Zealand Country Manager.

“Although many of us will do our best to plan ahead, it may be that for many people the convenience of being able to dash down to the local shops to make those last minute purchases in those few days before Christmas just can’t be beaten.”

When making decisions about where to purchase goods, Kiwis are being influenced not only on finding the best price (85 per cent) – but also by quality (83 per cent), convenience (73 per cent), and having the ability for recourse with local retailers if something should go wrong (66 per cent).

Surprisingly, customer service was only important to 62 per cent of Kiwis, followed by familiarity and trust with the brand (60 per cent).

Of those surveyed, food and wine (77 per cent), clothing and accessories (65 per cent), and toys and sporting equipment (64 per cent) will be the top gifts being searched for at local stores this Christmas, while vouchers for services (47 per cent) books, DVDs, and CDs (28 per cent) and technology and electronic goods (22 per cent) are anticipated to be the gifts most likely to be sourced from local online retailers.

When it comes to international online retailers, make-up (50%), jewellery and watches (41%) and sportswear (40%) are the Christmas gifts Kiwis are most likely to buy – although males are also much more likely to seek out technology and electronic goods from international websites than their female counterparts (16 per cent vs. 6 per cent).

“Although its common place to hear Kiwis bemoan the hustle and bustle of the shops at Christmas, for most of us the desire to actually see and examine the goods we are buying prior to purchase will trump the convenience of shopping from home,” said Chisnall.

“For Kiwis who are going online this Christmas, it is important to remember to be vigilant with your personal information and only purchase from reputable websites. Customers should remember to check payment details, the returns policy and data protection cover before paying.”