Kiwis make online shopping a big hit

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New Zealand, Over a million Kiwis now shop online, with flights the most popular purchase, figures show.By comparison, 54 per cent of Australians made an online purchase in the lead-up to Christmas, while 87 per cent researched goods or services online. The average amount spent was A$570 ($649).

The figures come from the first Online Retail Monitor survey conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, which canvassed 750 adult internet users by email in the month December to January. The survey, which was sponsored by a number of online retailers, including Ferrit.co.nz, will become an ongoing exercise with an increased number of respondents.

Neilsen NetRatings shows that over one month from last December to January 66 per cent of adult internet users made a purchase online. The average amount spent was $774. About 95 per cent researched goods or services on the internet.

Senior analyst Tony Boyte said the data indicated about 1.3 million Kiwis were prepared to buy online.

He said, "They are going online mainly because of the ease of comparison of products and prices. Other major reasons are avoiding crowds, the availability of a wider selection of products, and reduced internet prices for certain items."

Having said that, the survey also found that the single most popular purchase item was airline tickets. "Purchasing online is being increasingly encouraged by airlines and booking agencies and the results are very evident. The popularity of online flight bookings at this time may also be a result of people starting to plan their year ahead, including of course their holidays. It will be very interesting indeed to see how this uptake of shopping online trends-out during the rest of 2007," said Boyte.

The launch of Nielsen//NetRatings’ Online Retail Monitor into the New Zealand market was supported by Ferrit.co.nz and is one of the most comprehensive reports available on New Zealanders and their internet shopping behaviour. Cate Bryant, Market Strategy Manager for Ferrit.co.nz, said: “The internet is the first step of the purchase process for a large and valuable share of consumers. This monitor will help the retail industry build and improve their web offering, thereby driving incremental sales both online and in-store.”

Endorsement of the New Zealand Online Retail Monitor has already come from a leading retailer in the market. Anthony Ford, Services Channel Manager for Noel Leeming, said: “Its extremely useful to finally have this kind of information for the New Zealand market. It will be a key input into our online strategy going forward.”

The initial results are based on 759 completed surveys after around 4000 users were invited to take part.That raised the possibility the results could be interpreted as saying 66 per cent of those motivated to complete the survey had bought online, rather than two-thirds of the 4000.

But Boyte believed the results would have been roughly the same if all 4000 had completed the survey.

Ferrit's market strategy manager, Cate Bryant, said the online monitor would help retailers to improve their web-based offerings.

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