Is the Kiwi dollar going digital?

22 Apr 13

New Zealanders appear to have taken to online shopping like ducks to water, with the Kiwi dollar now turning digital.

Latest research from Statistics New Zealand shows that more than half of the population are now shopping online, representing an 11% increase since 2009.

“The fact that more than 1.8 million people made online purchases in 2012 shows that our internet use has evolved considerably from sending the occasional email," says Hamish Hill, statistics manager, ICT.

"The internet is now part of our everyday lives, and Kiwis are increasingly opting for the convenience that the internet and things like online shopping provide."

When asked about their spending over the four weeks before being surveyed, 1.2 million Kiwis said that they had made an online purchase – that’s over one-third of the working-age population, and 400,000 more people than in 2009.

“We can’t say whether these are pricier one-off purchases, or multiple smaller purchases," Hill says.

"What we do know is that 45% of online shoppers spent up to $100 online in the four weeks prior to being surveyed, and another 40 percent spent up to $500 online."

Kiwis are also managing their money online through internet banking with almost three-quarters of recent users opting for the virtual banking experience.

And while the use of internet banking decreases with age, over one-third of those aged 75 years or older had used it in the 12 months before the survey.

Of course, the internet is also still a place to play as half of all users aged 25–44 years continue to read online, while 76% of 15–24-year-olds use the net to listen to or download music.

Social media also remains popular, with two-thirds of the country engaging in social networking, a 20% increase since 2009.

While the young dominate the social networking scene, you’ll find one in six internet users aged 75+ there too, showing a shift in times across the country.

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