December has proven a record month for e-commerce retailer Mighty Ape.
Sales at the online retailer, headquartered north of Auckland in Silverdale, were up 22 per cent year-on-year in the four weeks to December 30.
During the month, Mighty Ape shipped out more than 400,000 products via 200,000 parcels, an increase from the 160,000 recorded at the same time last year.
It shipped out an average of 26,000 parcels each day during December.
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Mighty Ape general manager, Alastair Burns, said December 2 was the busiest sales day of the month - on Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately following American flash sales shopping day Black Friday, while December 16 was its busiest day for sending out parcels.
About 14,000 orders were placed on the retailer's online store on December 2, compared with 10,000 on December 17 - its busiest day of the month recorded last year.
"December has been really busy. Overall, for December our sales growth has been excellent, year-on-year particularly. It all started with Black Friday being a bit later in November than usual, and that kicked off of our sales for Christmas and it didn't really die down from there," Burns told the Herald. He was unable to share any financials.
"There's usually a bit of a lull [between Black Friday and the start of Christmas spending]. It definitely is busier following Black Friday year-on-year, but this year it just seemed that it didn't die off at all - sales remained high all throughout the period."
Burns said Mighty Ape had posted record December sales revenue since its inception in 2008. He said the company had benefited from the uptake in online spending in recent years.
"Every year we see more and more customers, more and more people are shifting to online in December from traditional retail and for us it is an ever-increasing trend that we hope will continue," he said.
The Christmas spending season, and the retailer's busiest day, started earlier this year with Black Friday falling a week later than normal, Burns said. "It was correlated with the Black Friday sales that people just took advantage of the fact that there were specials earlier and started their Christmas shopping earlier than they normally would."
Trading on Black Friday was another "bumper" day for Mighty Ape, he said.
Over the Black Friday weekend, the retailer received more than 30,000 orders compared with 20,000 during the weekend a year earlier. Its sales increased by more than 20 per cent on the day.
On Boxing Day, it received just over 5000 orders.
"Black Friday over the years has steadily been catching up and has now surpassed Boxing Day as a the bigger sales event for us," he said.
"Boxing Day is almost reserved for people to buy themselves things, it doesn't seem to have the same incentive that Black Friday and Christmas shopping does where you are buying for a lot of people. On Black Friday and taking advantage of those deals, you can spend more on more people whereas on Boxing Day once that opportunity has passed it is more just taking advantage of a few sales, but with less of a reason to make purchases."
Burns said he believed Boxing Day was losing its appeal with New Zealand shoppers, and that there were better deals to be had on Black Friday.
"The deals on Boxing Day aren't necessarily as good. It's kind of lacklustre and really an opportunity for retail stores to get rid of anything that didn't sell well before Christmas."
Online shopping has increased eight times faster than in-store shopping over the last year.
New Zealanders spent just shy of $150 million in shops on Boxing Day this year, well behind the $253m spent on Black Friday last month, though an increase on the $139.5m spent on Boxing Day last year, according to figures from Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of the country's electronic Eftpos transactions.
On Black Friday, Kiwis spent $253m. Over the weekend, a total of $652m was spent.
Mighty Ape started out as an online games store, though in recent years it has expanded to sell a much larger variety of goods, including apparel, homewares, electronics, toys and imported food. It positions itself as a local competitor to Amazon, offering overnight or same-day shipping in major centres.