The upsurge of online spending by Kiwis at UK sites following the Brexit referendum shows that we have become true global shoppers, says Marketview managing director Stephen Bridle.
Kiwis spending rose 47 percent on UK sites in the week after the referendum held on June 23, compared to the same time the year before.
“We now have global shoppers attuned to these changes,” says Bridle.
Marketview compiles the monthly BNZ online retail sales report, which analysed the June data. Bridle isn’t sure yet whether the upsurge in spending on UK sites has persisted through July.
“We noticed a spike in spending at the start of the week (following Brexit) and that dropped off at the end of the week,” he says.
On the question of what impact this trend has on New Zealand retailers, Bridle says in some cases, Kiwis who shop online in the UK were probably buying goods they can’t get in New Zealand, so the money wasn’t ever coming here.
In the last week of June, Kiwis’ online spending in terms of UK pounds rather than NZ dollars, was up 78 percent – a considerable jump on the same week last year, according to the BNZ report.
Kiwis were buying clothing, cosmetics and pharmacy products, computers and accessories, sport and camping equipment, and good from department and variety stores.
Just before the Brexit vote, the exchange rate was 0.49 UK pounds per NZ dollar, and the pound weakened immediately on the Brexit results.
The exchange rate ended June at 0.54.
To check that the late-June spending surge was a UK phenomenon, Marketview also looked at Kiwis’ online purchases from the rest of the world. In the last week in June this was up 14 percent on the same period in 2015 (in NZ$ terms), which is well shy of the 47 percent increase experienced at UK sites.