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New Zealanders headed online for Christmas shopping - study

Many New Zealanders planned to head online for the first time to do their Christmas shopping, according to new research from PriceSpy.

According to a new survey from PriceSpy, almost 50% of Kiwis were looking to shop locally this Christmas in light of Covid-19.

The research also found consumers were changing their shopping habits, with one in seven (14 per cent) getting super-organised saying they will shop up to six months ahead of Christmas (up 13 per cent on 2019).

One in four (26 per cent) however still said they would shop last-minute.

The PriceSpy research also revealed how shopping habits had changed this year ahead of Christmas:

  • One in seven respondents (14 per cent) say they tend to do most of their shopping up to six months in advance of Christmas, up 13 per cent year-on-year;
  • Almost 30 per cent (28 per cent) however still prefer the thrill of shopping at the eleventh hour, saying they will shop last-minute up to a week before Christmas Day;
  • Interestingly, 15 per cent of the respondents admitted to shopping online for the first time this year as a result of Covid-19. And amongst these first-time shoppers, the most popular shopping categories, were: food and groceries (44%); fashion (38%); gadgets & electronics (36%) and home & garden items (23%).

"We've certainly noticed a big change in how consumers are shopping, as it wasn't too long ago that bread makers, chest freezers and sewing machines were amongst the top-trending shopping categories on PriceSpy, which is extremely unusual," says Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy.

"It's great that Kiwis are choosing to shop locally this year and support local retailers as there's no doubt, it's been a difficult and challenging time for businesses and retailers.

"But with New Zealand officially in a recession and one in four saying they will shop from any store that offers the best price, even if it means buying internationally, the price of goods will remain an important factor to many," she says.

"Interestingly, we also saw a big jump in early Christmas shoppers this year, with 14 per cent saying they tended to do their Christmas shopping up to six months ahead of time, up 13 per cent up on 2019," Matinvesi-Bassett adds.

"We believe this shift in getting more organised for Christmas is a direct result of Covid-19, as many won't want to miss out on the normal festive festivities should New Zealand enter another lockdown situation whereby stores close, products go out of stock etc. Buying early helps reduce this risk, so people can have a bit more 'normality'.

"Almost 30 per cent (28 per cent) however still seem happy to shop last-minute. According to our historical pricing data, this shopping tactic can often offer shoppers a good chance of securing last-minute pre-Christmas bargains, as price points of goods will often drop the closer to Christmas Day," she says. 

"But we need to remember this is no ordinary year - and retailers are still massively affected by the impacts caused by Covid-19, which could have affected both Christmas stock availability and price points."

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