December 2020 spending

December’s online spending was an impressive $538m, up 17% on the same month in 2019, making it the best December ever for online spending. Off the back of a strong November, this resulted in a final quarter of 2020 that was 19% up on the same quarter in 2019. This brought a significant year in the rise of online shopping to a close, with 2020 online sales up 25% on the year before. Kiwi’s spent over a billion dollars more online in 2020 than in 2019. 

Graph-Online Spend

December’s online spend of $538m was well up (17%) on December 2019 but it still didn’t reach the highs we saw in May (over $600m), or even in November ($584m). It did however contribute to the biggest overall shopping month we’ve ever experienced in New Zealand. December spend, across both online and offline, was a massive $5.78b, 7% up on December 2019.

Instore (offline) spending built through the month, peaking in the days just before Christmas with a number of days of almost $300m daily spent. Online spending peaked a week earlier at $25m a day, as shoppers allowed time for delivery. As a result, NZ Post delivered 2.1m parcels in that week before leading up to Christmas Day – over 200 parcels a minute.

Boxing Day, traditionally a big shopping day, had instore spend at $183m. This was in line with last year but well short of Cyber Monday and Black Friday levels.  The shopping fervour at the malls of previous Boxing Days appears to have waned, replaced by sales events in November, higher sales over a longer Christmas-New Year period and of course, online shopping. Boxing Day online spend was up 19%.  

Like November with its shopping event days, December is usually a month that attracts many first time online shoppers looking to catch Christmas present bargains. Interestingly enough, this year it wasn’t new shoppers who drove the big numbers but existing shoppers, averaging 3.3 transactions a month at $110 spend each time.

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