Kiwis still shop ‘NZ’ despite rise of global e-tailers

19 Aug 2019

Despite the rise of internationally headquartered e-tailers, more than half of all Kiwi consumers (54%) say they still prefer to shop at New Zealand owned and operated small businesses, according to a new Consumer Insights Report by accounting software provider MYOB.

Kiwi consumers are choosing to buy locally either by visiting the physical premises or heading online to owned and operated stores.

Four out of five (83%) Kiwis shop at the physical premises of a New Zealand small business at least once a month, including more than a third (34%) who shop locally every week, and one in ten (11%) who visit a local SME most days.

When it comes to shopping online, almost a third (31%) favour Kiwi owned and operated businesses, while more than half (52%) purchase equally from New Zealand based and international online businesses. Just 15% said they mainly or always buy from international e-tailers.

MYOB country manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight said New Zealanders want to support local businesses – even if it means heading online to do so.

“While convenience is a leading factor, consumers also believe it’s important to support their community businesses and the New Zealand economy,” she said.

Fifty-nine percent of consumers shop locally because they want to support New Zealand operators, while 54% said they buy ‘Kiwi’ because they want to support the economy. More than half (54%) said they visited local stores because it’s convenient for them.

New Zealanders also believe it’s important to buy locally. Two fifths (41%) said buying products and services from local SMEs was quite important, while a third (32%) said it was very important. Nearly a fifth (17%) said it was extremely important.

“However, while Kiwi consumers want to shop locally – and have indicated that they’re still doing so regularly – our research highlights it’s not always a level playing field for Kiwi businesses,” Ms Cronin-Knight said.

More than 60% of consumers believe buying from locally owned and operated businesses is more expensive than from international retailers. Only 12% said local retailers are more affordable.

“The introduction of GST on smaller international online purchases may help to remedy this for local retailers, however as competition grows internationally, consumers will be more likely to shop around for the best value their money can buy – even if it means shopping internationally,” she said.

NZ now shops online

The MYOB Consumer Insights Report shows that, in New Zealand, nearly everyone shops online. Eighty-seven percent reported they purchase goods online, while just 13% said they do not.

Even digital immigrants – those born or brought up before the widespread use of digital technology – are shopping online in large numbers. More than two thirds (70%) of those aged over 65 years said they head online to shop, while just 30% said they do not.

Ms Cronin-Knight said online shopping has had a significant impact on the way New Zealanders make their purchasing decisions.

“Whether you run a large chain of stores, or a local restaurant; if you’re a tradie or even a local e-tailer, it’s important to remember that two thirds of your customers will go to the web to research your product or service before they come to your store,” she said.

“A third will even research , try-on or trial a product or service in-store before purchasing online at a later stage – perhaps from a competitor or international retailer for a better price.”

The report highlights that when consumers do find local businesses online, they’re also assessing the quality of their digital experience. The user experience of a business’ website is almost as important as the price of the product or service they’re selling.

In the survey, nearly every consumer (98%) said price was important to them when shopping online, while 96% said they took into account the usability and navigation of a brand’s website.

Ms Cronin-Knight said it’s important for small businesses to remember the importance of the digital experience.

“Whether it’s a user-friendly website, a social media profile with targeted content, or a quality e-commerce platform that translates across devices, modern consumers not only seek high-quality products and services, they also want to shop online seamlessly and securely,” she said.

“Gone are the days of ignoring your digital presence, or lack thereof. Today, what you do – or don’t do – online could make all the difference to the success of your business.”



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About MYOB

MYOB is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across four strategic segments – Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs), Practices (accountants, advisers and bookkeepers), Enterprise (larger businesses) and Payments. It provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. MYOB is committed to ongoing innovation and delivering efficiencies and growth opportunities for its growing client base across Australia and New Zealand.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Consumer Insights Survey

The MYOB New Zealand Consumer Snapshot survey was conducted using Pure Profile’s consumer panel. In total, 1,003 consumers aged 16 and over were surveyed from across New Zealand. The survey was conducted online from July 25 to July 29, 2019.