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Is 2013 the year of the Kiwi e-Christmas?

19 Dec 2013

2013 is set to be the year of the e-Christmas, with over three quarters of Kiwis browsing, comparing and purchasing products online.

That's according to Home Direct’s annual Christmas survey, which shows almost a third more respondents will head online to fill Christmas stockings this year, with “can shop when it suits me” (71%) and “better product visibility” (58%) topping the list of reasons for shopping online.

Home Direct GM Jodi Comrie says the survey – which canvases the opinions of more than 1,000 Kiwi shoppers and Home Direct customers – shows a change in buyer behaviour and the growth of e-commerce thanks largely to mobile devices.

“Crowded retail spaces over the holiday period and an over-abundance of choice make it hard for shoppers to get in and out quickly with the products they want," Comrie says. “Instead of spending time visiting countless retail stores, shoppers are finding the best products and prices online, at times that suit them and, most importantly, thanks to tablets and smartphones they can do it all on the run.”

The Home Direct Christmas survey highlights this boom in mobile commerce, with a 26% rise in the number of respondents shopping by smartphone and an 11% increase in those shopping by tablet since last year.

While online purchasing has taken off in 2013, another annual survey looking at Kiwis’ Christmas habits, Colmar Brunton’s recently released Great Kiwi Christmas Survey, shows only 3% of New Zealanders do not intend to browse in-store at all this Christmas.

Colmar Brunton Innovation and Business Development director Vanessa Clark says while Kiwis want to make decisions and see what is available online, we still like to see the products first hand before we commit to a purchase.

“This makes the 2013 holiday season one of the first truly omni-channel Christmases for Kiwi shoppers," Clark says.

"Consumers have more options than ever and retailers need to ensure they are represented in those channels where customers are looking to engage."

Affordability will also be a defining factor for many this Christmas, with 64% of respondents to the Home Direct survey saying the ability to pay off their Christmas purchases over time is a key factor in their gift decisions.

“Christmas can be a tough time for many people, with the stress of finances and a lack of time to get it all done,” Comrie adds.

“So providing the best online shopping experience and a range of payment options is the best way to hit the sweet spot for customers this Christmas.”

Will you be shopping online or in-store this Xmas? Tell us your preferences in the comments below

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