Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/27/2017


Online shopping has been embraced by mainstream New Zealand consumers seeking good products at a good price at their convenience.  In 2015, Neilsen Research recorded close to 2 million adults (1,952,000) made a purchase via the internet. New Zealanders online purchases total approximately $3 billion.   The amount spent by New Zealanders on overseas websites is estimated at $1 billion.  Travel is the lead eCommerce purchase.  Other popular online purchases include women’s and men’s clothing, entertainment, fast food, books/eBooks, and music downloads.

Current Market Trends
New Zealand consumers will continue to shop online for convenience, price and value. 
Online sales to New Zealand-based customers by local retailers include a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST), however, international online purchases don’t attract GST for goods under $400.  Changes to New Zealand’s GST Act are anticipated soon to take place to help local business. Further details covering e-Commerce and GST can be reviewed via the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department website.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

The Amazon and Alibaba platforms are significant e-Commerce operators in this market.  In 2016, Amazon and Alibaba both announced plans to set-up warehousing in Australia to service Australia and New Zealand. (In March, 2017 Alibaba opened its warehouse in Melbourne, Australia.)

Cross-Border eCommerce

Australia, China, U.K., and the United States are the leading sources for products bought online by New Zealand customers.  New Zealand Post’s YouShop service offers delivery addresses in China, U.K. and United States to facilitate online trade between vendors and New Zealand customers who typically don’t service this market. Further details about YouShop are available via this link.

B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce sector has not grown in New Zealand as rapidly as B2C. There is a significant volume of SaaS/ cloud-based services provided to New Zealand businesses, including the following notable sectors:
  • IT Consulting
  • Data Security and Storage
  • Import & Export of digital content by various sectors including publishing, entertainment (including gaming), production, manufacturing, architectural, graphic and other design categories and general software.
  • Financial Technology (fintech) solution providers
  • Insurance and risk-management solutions
  • Supply chain and 3PL solutions
Alibaba’s Australia presence is perceived positively by the New Zealand Government.  Alibaba is promoted as another tool to help New Zealand exporters sell online to Chinese customers.  New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has hosted several forums to help New Zealand exporters explore the growing Chinese commerce channel known as daigou.  (Literally translating to “buying on behalf of,” a daigou is a shopping agent buying products to send back to clients in China.)
Premier Li Keqiang’s March 2017 visit to New Zealand was accompanied by the announcement of several new initiatives involving eCommerce to facilitate increased trade between Chinese and New Zealand businesses, including in premium categories such as chilled meats, etc.

eCommerce Services

Online appointment scheduling offered by many small companies e.g. hairdressers, beauty clinics etc. is gaining popularity as local consumers gain confidence with the programs.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights

It is recommended U.S. companies protect their IPR by registering with a national IP office like the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).

Popular eCommerce Sites

Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest auction and classifieds site is the most popular local online shipping site.  Other popular local sites include Air New Zealand and major retail chains including Farmers and The Warehouse.

Online Payment

Many online customers are comfortable using their credit cards directly.  Credit card payments via Paypal are recognized as a better way to protect credit cards details.

Mobile eCommerce

The ownership and usage of smart phones in New Zealand is very high – 90% of New Zealanders own at least one smart phone. New Zealand's shoppers are using their mobile devices to research products, check where they can buy products and whether they are in-stock, compare prices whilst in-store, get feedback from friends via social media, and purchase products.

Digital Marketing

Stuff hosted by Fairfax is New Zealand’s leading website for news.  Stuff’s advertising attracts 56% of Internet uses monthly. TradeMe also offers advertising options for U.S. companies.

Major Buying Holidays

The lead-up to Christmas is the busiest period for local online shoppers.  Christmas-day uploads on TradeMe (unwanted gifts), Boxing Day (December 26) and Valentine’s Day (February 14) are also major “buying holidays.”
Singles Day (11/11) is gaining more recognition in New Zealand.  A few New Zealand companies are actively using live streaming technology and social media to achieve marketing success on China’s Singles Day.

Social Media

Most New Zealand organizations have a social media presence – social media is a phenomenon in New Zealand.  Facebook is the most popular social media forum, and within Facebook, FMCG Food, Retail, Services, Fashion and Beverages are the top industry sectors. The top Facebook and Twitter brand is Air New Zealand.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

New Zealand eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce