New Zealand’s total online retail spending over the 3 months to 30 April was 7% higher than in the same period a year ago.

We are continuing to see softer growth rates for purchases from offshore sites, which over the last 3 months were only 2% higher than in the same period a year earlier.

One influence is the NZ dollar, which is tracking around 7% lower versus the USD than it was a year ago, making offshore purchases more expensive for Kiwis. This will reduce spending if a fall in purchase volumes more than offsets the effect of paying higher prices.

Another influence is the ongoing maturing of the online channel. In recent years we have seen online growth rates ease from double-digit levels and slowly trend down. Online growth rates still exceed those of physical stores, but the gap is reducing.

In some categories though, purchases from offshore sites are continuing to grow very strongly - such as Computers & Entertainment Media.

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