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Online Shopping in New Zealand Remains Strong

Published: Wed 15 Apr 2009 01:38 PM
Online Shopping in New Zealand Remains Strong Despite Crisis
The economic downturn and the recent flood of bad news for consumers have not affected consumers' willingness to shop online so far reports Frank Mair from PriceMe, www.priceme.co.nz, a shopping comparison website in New Zealand.
PriceMe has analysed the number of sales leads it generated to more than 150 retailers in New Zealand over the last six months in order to study the impact of the crisis on online shopping. "The crisis hadn't hit the main stream media in October last year whereas the awareness of the crisis was widespread in March", explains Frank, "so we're able to observe pre and post crisis behavior in our study".
"The average dollar value of the products consumers are interested in measured as click throughs to retailers remains flat during this period", says Frank. Popular product categories like LCD TVs, digital cameras, washing machines and mobile phones all show that online shoppers in New Zealand haven't cut down on spending since the economic crisis became a concern to the majority of consumers. For example, the average value of a LCD TV that users clicked through to retailers to buy was $1,676 in October and $1,706 in March. Similarly, the average digital cameras that users wanted to buy increased marginally from $748 in October to $760 in March. PriceMe generated more than 20,000 sales leads from about 15,000 online shoppers for the LCD TVs and digital cameras categories over the last six months, which is a "representative sample of online shoppers in New Zealand" according to Frank. The total retailer referral value for these two categories was more than $26 million.
"The number of sales leads overall to retailers increased each month during the last six months" continues Frank. PriceMe recorded a record number of visitors and sales leads on March the 23rd. The type of products shoppers are interested in remain the same and there hasn't been a noticeable shift from higher value goods to lower value goods despite the crisis.
Frank points out that PriceMe does not have "exact figures on conversion rates on the retailer sites for all the sales leads he generates". However, a recent study by US shopping comparison site PriceGrabber shows that 93% of shoppers are spending more or the same amount of time on online shopping this year. "What does change though due to financial turmoil is consumers' mindset" claims Frank. More and more shoppers are concerned about the state of the economy and realise that savings can be done by researching products and prices online prior to purchase. They consequently turn to shopping comparison sites or auction sites like to find deals and savings. The number of user searches related to 'price comparison' and 'compare prices' increased by almost 80% on PriceMe during the last six months.
There is a significant difference in prices for many products. A 40 inch S-series Sony Bravia LCD TV can have a price difference between retailers of more than 45%. Frank concludes that it “pays to get online spending a few minutes comparing products and prices”.
About PriceMe
PriceMe is a leading shopping comparison site in New Zealand. The PriceMe website www.priceme.co.nz boosts more than 400 thousand products from a broad range of products and categories. PriceMe aggregates products and prices from more than 175 retailers, which enables consumers to efficiently research and compare products and prices online. Shoppers on PriceMe find not only pricing information, but also reviews from consumers and experts, retailer ratings, price trends, maps and technical specifications.
For more information, please contact PriceMe at info@priceme.co.nz
ENDS

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