Offshore retailers gain online marketshare

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 14:58 01/09/2014

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Online shopping picked up in July but international retail websites are continuing to gain market share from their Kiwi counterparts, a bank survey shows.

Total online spending grew by 7 per cent in July, following a flat June, according to BNZ's latest online retail sales figures released today.

Purchases from overseas sites were up 11 per cent compared with July last year while purchases from domestic online outlets grew by just 5 per cent.

The rise in domestic online sales tallies with Statistics New Zealand figures which showed card spending, mainly at physical stores, was up 5 per cent on July last year.

Domestic purchases make up about 59 per cent of online spending, with 41 per cent spent at foreign outlets.

However, based on 12-month totals, foreign merchants have made a 2 per cent gain in market share over the past year.

Categories showing the biggest gains in online market share compared with a year ago include groceries and liquor, furniture, toys, games and books.

The biggest losers in online market share over the year have been specialist "daily deals" websites, which now account for about 6 per cent of yearly online sales, down from a peak level of almost 7.5 per cent a year ago.

BNZ said the overall pattern of growth in New Zealand's online retail sales continues to track that of Australia, as measured using the NAB online retail sales index.

For the three months to the end of June, the NAB index was up 7 per cent on the same period a year earlier, whereas the comparable New Zealand growth rate was about 6 per cent.

However, in Australia domestic retailers command almost 75 per cent of the online retail sales market, while the New Zealand figure is closer to 60 per cent.

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