Locals reluctant to shop online

By sonya.bateson@dailypost.co.nz, Sonya Bateson


Rotorua people aren't as keen to shop online as the rest of the country, but still tend to use the internet for higher-end purchases.

A survey commissioned by Lassoo Media and PR looked into the online shopping habits of 1000 New Zealanders and discovered people in the Bay of Plenty were more reluctant to buy over the internet than the rest of the country.

The research found 71 per cent of the people surveyed had made a recent online purchase and that women were more comfortable indulging in retail therapy over the internet while men were more likely to spend up large.

Forty-four per cent of women online shoppers had bought footwear or clothing whereas 45 per cent of the men had bought appliances or electronics gear.

New Zealand Retailers Association spokeswoman Louise Evans McDonald said Rotorua was similar to the rest of the country in that while online shopping was growing, it was still only a small portion of retail sales.

"The other thing to consider is the highest amount of spending online tends to be in travel and accommodation.

"If you take that out of the equation, there also tends to be some growth around clothing and fashion."

Ms Evans McDonald said she had looked at the recent Paymark statistics for Rotorua, which showed there had been growth in sales since last year.

"It is positive, the value of purchases is up 4.1 per cent and the volume is up 2.8 per cent. This means people are spending more on items. Retail sales seem to be holding their own."

Nadia Saathof from Hillcrest said she did a lot of shopping online, but only for things such as electronics and books. She said she probably shopped online about once a month.

"It's easier, more convenient and cheaper. I do think it affects businesses in town, but the thing is it's a huge price difference - especially electronic gear.

"The stuff I buy online are things I couldn't afford to buy otherwise but I still do a lot of shopping in town."

Helen from Western Heights said although she wasn't an online shopper herself, she believed it affected business in town.

"Everyone is doing everything online, they're not out browsing the streets as much - but it's also more convenient for people. It's affecting local businesses. Around this time of year, there are usually lots of people."

Keanu Pirihi from Pukehangi said he wasn't a fan of sitting in front of a computer so preferred to get out and about in the streets.

"I can't be bothered sitting in front of the computer all day. It does affect businesses in a way because there are those people that sit in front of their computer all day, but there are others who just like going shopping and get out for the day."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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