Kiwis embrace internet for shopping and finances

By Siobhan Leathley

Kiwis spent $5.6 billion through the internet last year. Photo / Thinkstock
Kiwis spent $5.6 billion through the internet last year. Photo / Thinkstock

New Zealand is fast becoming a digital nation with more Kiwis choosing to use the internet to shop, bank and pay bills than ever before, a survey has found.

The annual Roy Morgan analysis examined how New Zealanders were using the internet and technology in their everyday lives.

The results showed that 84 per cent of Kiwis were now using the internet.

Client services head Howard Seccombe said the shift online "has fundamentally changed how we communicate, how we do business and engage with the media".

Mr Seccombe said the rise of online shopping was the biggest standout, with nearly two-thirds of New Zealanders choosing to shop online. Kiwis spent $5.6 billion through the internet last year.

"This is important for retailers and business, which may need to change how they approach customers."

Only a small number of people shopped using smartphones. Nearly 70 per cent used phones to surf the web and nearly one-third accessed Facebook and Twitter through their phones.

He believed smartphones were the most important way for businesses to connect with consumers.

"People always have their smartphones switched on and with them, which makes it easier for companies to connect to them."

Mr Seccombe said there was also a shift in online banking.

According to the results, it will not be long until online banking overtakes offline.

"It's already happened in Australia.

"It will be a big moment when it happens here."

He said "digital natives" who had grown up with technology would not be surprised by these results, but those who had come to the digital age later in life would be surprised.

"For them, it will seem like it's grown from nothing to something huge."

Each year, Roy Morgan Research surveys around 12,000 New Zealanders on aspects of Kiwi life.

- NZ Herald

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