24 MAY 2022

NZ Post research shows online shopping up 31 per cent this quarter

Spending on online shopping for the first quarter of 2022 is up 31 per cent on the previous year, and a massive 86 per cent on the same quarter in 2020 (just before COVID-19 restrictions first came into place), according to the latest NZ Post eCommerce Spotlight report.

NZ Post General Manager of Business Marketing Chris Wong says COVID-19 has changed the way New Zealanders shop, for good.

“New Zealanders spent more than $2.2 billion online on physical goods during the first quarter of 2022, making nearly 17 million online transactions, and spending about $131 per transaction. This is the second biggest quarter for online shopping for total spend in New Zealand, second only to the busy Christmas shopping season at the end of last year,” Wong said. 

“Omicron has been a big factor in consumer shopping trends this quarter. More Kiwis have been at home, either unwell or isolating, and this is shown in the huge numbers for online shopping. It is interesting to see however, that while online shopping for the quarter as a whole was up on the same quarter last year, we did see a decline in shoppers throughout the quarter, as month by month fewer Kiwis shopped online. While in January there were nearly 2.2 million shoppers online, this dropped to 1.98 million in February and then dropped by another 200,000 in March.”

“The slight decline throughout the quarter could be due to a number of factors, including the increasing cost of living facing New Zealanders. The good news is 77 per cent of spending this quarter was with New Zealand based businesses. Ongoing disruptions to global supply chains means Kiwis are continuing to favour buying local. This is reassuring for our locally owned businesses during a time of economic uncertainty and NZ Post is here to support local businesses to succeed in the eCommerce space,” Wong said.

NZ Post is set to open two new parcel processing facilities this year, to double its parcel processing capacity. Upgrades to the Christchurch Processing Centre and the opening of the brand new Wellington Super Depot later this year mean NZ Post is primed for continued growth in online shopping. The two new facilities are just the start of a 10-year plan for investment into parcel processing infrastructure and smarter technology. 

“We’re really proud of how NZ Post has continued to deliver for Kiwis during the Omicron outbreak. We prepared for this latest outbreak by increasing our capacity to deliver by bringing on 10 more people. We also put in place plans to limit the impact of people being away from work, through careful case management and contact tracing.”

“Our people have done an incredible job over the last two years of the pandemic, working hard to deliver essential items and to keep Kiwis connected during uncertain times,” Wong said.

More eCommerce Spotlight stats for Q1 2022:

  • The top three fastest growing sectors for online spending compared with Q1 2021 were: Homewares, Appliances & Electronics (up 38 per cent), Health & Beauty (up 37 per cent), and Clothing & Footwear (up 36 per cent).
  • Spending with Drug Stores & Pharmacies, a subset of the Health & Beauty sector, grew 52 per cent.
  • The top three regions with the fastest growth rates were: Marlborough (up 36 per cent), Tasman (up 36 per cent) and the West Coast (up 35 per cent), which are amongst the smallest regions for online spending.
  • The age group with the fastest growth rate in online spending was the 75+ group. Online spending by this group in Q1 2022 grew 40 per cent compared with Q1 2021, however their spending represents just 3 per cent of total online spending.


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