There’s a little under two weeks to go before presents are exchanged, and the reports are rolling in. Are Kiwis being generous Santas or following the Grinch’s example?
While retailers have been cashing in on Christmas since October, evidence suggests it’s only now that sales are really getting rolling.
Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for pricecomparison websitePriceSpy, says: “For two years running, our historical data insights suggest New Zealanders are doing the majority of their online shopping the last Monday before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.”
Matinvesi-Bassett suggests this may be a deliberate tactic to take advantage of sales, but notes that shoppers are putting themselves at risk of not receiving their orders on time.
Mastercard’s research has revealed that 26 percent of Kiwis will use local online retailers for the bulk of their Christmas shopping in 2018, a figure that’s grown by 12 percent since 2016. One in 10 shoppers reported they did most of their shopping with overseas retailers – this group is also growing steadily.
Ruth Riviere, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands, says: “We are seeing online shopping increase in popularity every year for Christmas shopping – particularly with local businesses. The shift is mainly moving from using local shops to shopping locally online, so people get the same quality gifts but beat the in-store Christmas rush.”
Half of all Kiwi shoppers will head in-store for their Christmas presents, but this figure is declining.
The Mastercard research reported more than two thirds of Kiwi shoppers researched online (70 percent), and then either purchased online (41 percent) or in-store (29 percent) depending on where the best deals are.
The most important factor when choosing where to purchase Christmas gifts, they reported, was quality (84 percent), followed by price (81 percent) and convenience (78 percent).
Kiwi Property owns a number of New Zealand shopping centres, including Sylvia Park. Based off 2017 data and customer research, it expects that the busiest time for Christmas shopping in its centres will be next week, with 79 percent of Kiwis having finished their Christmas shopping by Sunday 23rdDecember.
Kiwi Property GM Retail Linda Trainer says the focus this year is to celebrate all of the different ways Kiwis enjoy Christmas.
“At Kiwi Property shopping centres, we are recognising all the different ways Kiwis celebrate Christmas and the unique activities and traditions that people cherish.
“At our shopping centres, the focus is on delivering a great customer experience and we are working on how we can make a visit to our centres as easy and enjoyable as possible. We want to capture the magic and excitement that comes with planning and celebrating Christmas and spread the cheer through all of our centres.”
However, year on year, Marketview data for the week ending 2 December show a 2.19 percent drop in spend year on year, with transactions also stable at 1.06 percent. Marketview representative Raewyn Tan suggests shoppers “took a breather” last week in the lead-up to Christmas following the previous week’s Black Friday spending.