A 30 per cent spike in online shopping in a single year in Hawke's Bay has forced New Zealand Post to hire new staff to handle courier runs.
The latest NZ Post eCommerce Spotlight report shows the region recorded one of the biggest increases in online spending throughout New Zealand in 2020, a year when many shops were closed for weeks due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
According to the report, online shopping in Hawke's Bay increased by 30 per cent (compared to 2020) and the region is now ranked third in the country for parcels delivered per capita.
NZ Post's Napier service delivery manager Debra Biczo said the influx had forced them to put in new courier runs to cope.
"We are delivering up to 5000 parcels per day in Napier, Clive, Haumoana, Te Awanga, and Wairoa," Biczo said.
"We had to put in four new courier runs because of the increase - this has set us up for our peak period which runs from October to January."
NZ Post Area service delivery manager Ryan Powell said it was great to see people in Hawke's Bay region embracing online shopping.
"Online shopping is increasingly becoming the norm for many Kiwis. They are buying online more often and across more sectors," Powell said.
Hawke's Bay also saw a 27 per cent increase in transactions and a two per cent increase in basket size.
Basket size is the size of each online transaction.
For example: if a customer buys $1000 worth of goods online a year and made 10 transactions during that year, each time they spend $100 on average, this is basket size.
He said that a typical online customer in Hawke's Bay made nine transactions per quarter, meaning a total average of 36 transactions per year.
"We're currently delivering about 10,000 parcels per day for people in the Hawke's Bay region, and as online shopping increases, we're expecting parcel delivery to increase alongside," Powell said.
According to the report, spending on food, clothing and department (which spending at department stores like Kmart and The Warehouse) had the highest growth of 39 per cent, 49 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.
Recreation spending also had 15 per cent growth after a moderate decline of one per cent in 2019.
NZ Post General Manager of Business Marketing Chris Wong said a key trend in 2020 was also the rise of older online shoppers.
"In the 80-year plus category, shoppers grew by 40 per cent, nodding to the fact that all demographics are becoming more comfortable with online shopping," Wong said.
He said shoppers 60 years (plus) also grew by over 15 per cent and their spending was up over 25 per cent.
Biczo said Covid had forced the older generation to embrace online shopping services.
"Now I think they are just enjoying the ease of it," she said.
"I have been injured for seven weeks now and during that time I have done online shopping because it is so easy."
NZ Post is the largest delivery business for online shopping in New Zealand.
To meet the continued growth in online shopping, and to help New Zealand businesses grow, NZ Post has recently announced a 10-year $170 million investment programme on parcel infrastructure.