Online spending at overseas sites has continued to grow strongly and was last month up 14 per cent on the same time last year according to new figures.

However, the value of online spending domestically was only up a mere 2 per cent on last January, according to BNZ's latest quarterly online retail sales report.

The report also showed New Zealanders' total online spending last month was up 7 per cent on the same time in January 2014.

Online retail sales last month were typical of the trend over the last 12 months - up 8 per cent for both the three-months ending January 2015 and for the year ending January 2015 on the prior corresponding period.


The seasonal post-Christmas drop in spending was in line with previous years, dropping between 18 and 22 per cent between the months of December and January, the report showed.

Electronics remained one the largest areas of international online purchases made by New Zealanders and was up 20 per cent on the same time last year, now sitting around $260m.

Clothing, footwear and other accessories was another major category for off-shore online purchases, with spending up 13 per cent on the previous year and now running around $185m.

Sales for domestic online retailers in the same category were up by only 0.5 per cent for the same period.

The report also showed that for the 2014 calendar year, online spending accounted for 6.3 per cent of total retail sales.

At physical retail stores, spending last quarter was up 3.9 per cent on the previous year.

Online spending by the numbers:
• New Zealanders' total online spending in January was 7 per cent higher than in January last year.
• Online spending at domestic merchants in January was up 2 per cent compared to January 2014. This is down on the 7 per cent growth rate observed in December and is also slower than the January growth rate for retail electronic card transactions (which are dominated by physical stores).
• Kiwis' online spending at overseas sites continues to grow strongly - up 14 per cent on January last year.
• The online sales split between domestic and international merchants was 57 per cent / 43 per cent in January. The international market share is back to its all-time high of 43 per cent, following a typical seasonal drop in December.

See the BNZ report here: