INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealanders Embracing Online Retail In Wake Of Covid-19

Published: Sun 17 May 2020 04:56 PM
The impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic is affecting New Zealanders, our health and economy in far-reaching ways, but it is having a long lasting impact on our Kiwi retail behaviour too.
According to a report from the United States Commerce Department, in April 2020 e-shopping was higher than traditional physical store sales for the first time ever.
While this significant milestone may reflect the Covid-19 lockdown period, we expect the trend to continue internationally as well as here in New Zealand.Online Retail
One of the responses we’ve seen from New Zealanders is a quick transition in habits as Kiwis adjust to lockdown and new ways of shopping. From panic-buying to online shopping, New Zealanders are changing what they’re buying, when, and how.
As a result of Covid-19 retailers are witnessing significant increases in online sales. Storbie is one of New Zealand’s largest suppliers of online retail sites, particularly in the health sector. It hosts websites for 1 in 5 New Zealand pharmacies.
Whereas it previously took weeks to take pharmacies through a site build process for their online store, with a more than 275% increase in demand for e-commerce sites since the Covid-19 lockdown, new sites are now having to be built within 2-3 days.
Since the lock-down New Zealand traffic to Storbie community pharmacy websites has increased by 306% compared with the same time last year.
Storbie Chief Executive Shane Bartle believes “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on traditional bricks and mortar retailers and further incursions would mean shops would need to close again. That’s not a risk retailers are prepared to take so they are moving online to complement their physical stores.”Strong Demand in Australia
Demand for online pharmacy sites is also sky-rocketing in Australia, with Storbie experiencing a 250% increase in new online stores across the Tasman between February and March.
“Our experience during Covid-19 tells us all retailers will want an online presence to meet shopper demand and we expect this momentum to continue post lockdown. More consumers are becoming familiar with the benefits of shopping online and retailers will want an online presence to complement their physical stores well into the future.

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