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Online shopping to reach tipping point this Christmas

Online Christmas shopping is closing in on offline purchases this Christmas, according to new research from Slice Digital.

According to the research, Of the 15% that have already completed their Christmas shopping so far, nearly half have purchased a gift online. And, 68% of those aged 18-34 reported shopping online.

With more Kiwis shopping online than ever before it makes sense for retailers to expand beyond traditional marketing channels to maximise their online retail sales, Slice Digital says. 

On behalf of Slice Digital, Opinion Compare conducted a national survey of 821 New Zealanders to gauge an understanding of their plans for Christmas this year.

"This is higher than what is expected for those yet to complete their shopping with only 35% of purchases expected to be made online. Are those who shop online for gifts just more organised, or are their needs not being met by stores which is forcing them to turn online," says Gavin Male, founder of SLICE Digital.

The expected proportion of shopping being done online peaks among 18-34s (68%) and also for those in Auckland, despie being located in a major city with a wider range and larger number of stores in close proximity.

Over a third (35%) of Kiwis plan seek help to pay for Christmas purchases, with ‘after-pay’ services most popular. Of the 22% that would use these, under 35s and single parents are the most likely - 36% and 43% respectively. Anxiety about the cost of Christmas is reflected in a greater call for help with payments - 47% will seek help this year with a significantly higher number planning to use ‘buy now pay later’ services (30%), to borrow from friends and family (9% vs 4% on average) or to take out a personal loan (4% vs 1% on average).

"With more Kiwis shopping online than ever before it makes sense for online retailers to look to increase their marketing reach and improve their advertising return on investment," says Male.

"Traditional and established digital channels like Google and Facebook become incrementally more expensive at this time of year as competition for audience and keywords heats up," he says. 

"SLICE Digital is a specialist New Zealand Affiliate Marketing network that works with leading Kiwi retailers like Kathmandu, Barkers, Citta Design and Onceit as well as smaller, specialist ecommerce sites like Banjos Beard and Paper Plane Store," Male explains.

"Hugely established overseas, affiliate marketing is a rapidly growing marketing channel in New Zealand that works on a pure pay for performance basis, only costing the advertiser when they make a sale or generate a lead."