Exploring Q4 2020’s highs

The December sales numbers contributed to a strong final quarter, by adding to November’s big numbers for Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At $1.5b, Q4 online spending was up 19% on 2019.  

In 2019, Q4 spend dominated the year making up almost 30% of the annual online spend.  In 2020, Q4 come in second to the $1.6b of sales during the lockdown influenced Q2. Q4’s online sales numbers contributed about 27% of the year’s total shopping spend. Overall Q4 was the biggest spending quarter ever, with Kiwis spending a massive $15b across online and instore. This is up 8% on 2019.

67,000 new customers joined the online phenomenon in Q4, averaging 1.4 transactions each and spending an impressive $136 per person. It’s a different story to existing customers who shopped more often (3.3 times on average) but spent less ($110 each).

It’s been a year where shoppers have shown a strong preference for buying local and Q4 was no exception, with 70% of spend with domestic merchants. All sectors benefited from this local sentiment with many experiencing numbers 30% or more up on the same period in 2019. Recreation, Entertainment, Books and Stationery was the only sector to have single digit growth for the quarter.

In Q4:


of spend was from
30-50 year olds


Growth is
spending by over 60


spending growth from
Gisborne, Auckland, Northland,
Hawkes Bay and Taranaki

All regions, except Southland and Otago, experienced double-digit growth in spend for the quarter, with Gisborne leading the way with 27% growth. Age profiles reflected the pattern we’ve seen all year, with 30-50 year olds making up the majority of online shoppers but the over 60s growing their online spending at the fastest rate.

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