More New Zealanders than ever are turning to the internet to shop, according to a new report from Nielsen Online. Those who shop online grew to 45 percent in the fourth quarter 2008, up from 39 percent for the same period a year before. The adult online shopping population now stands at a record 1.4 million people out of a total population of about 4.5 million.
The trend towards shopping online cuts across most categories, with the most popular categories being airline tickets, books/magazine, clothing and other travel-related services such as hotels and car rentals. Respondents said that the primary reason for shopping online was to compare prices and get the best deal possible. "Saving time" and "avoiding sales staff and crowds" also ranked highly.
"It is interesting to look at the purchase conversion rates following research online. While it is expected that there will be high conversion for airline and entertainment tickets, we also see strong results for sports equipment, collectibles, books, clothing and toys. Further, stronger offline conversions are being found in categories such as insurance, home appliances, consumer electronics and food/beverage/wine," said Tony Boyte, Nielsen Online Research Director.