Kiwi Facts Stats New Zealand Digital Market Technology 2019 Tandem Nz

Though New Zealand is a developed nation ranking highly on the quality of life, health, education, civil liberties, and economic freedom, it’s digital penetration is still a growing industry; certain global trends have yet to reach the New Zealand market. Let’s take a look at what some of them are.

Digital New Zealand Data Mobile Internet Social Media

New Zealand has 88% internet penetration rate of its 4.77 million population.

The mobile e-commerce market in New Zealand stands at about $1.3 billion, which, as a percentage, the e-commerce market size is about 31%.

This makes NZ’s e-commerce market comparatively small – but stats dictate that recently, rural areas are catching up with urban centres, which means strong growth and a high per capita expenditure are something to look forward to.

Here, we shall discuss New Zealand’s digital marketing environment, its biggest channels, industry challenges, and opportunities, as well as the best possible ways on how to reach the Kiwi audience.

Keep in mind the projected figures are subject to change at any time.

Time Kiwis Spent On Social Media

When it comes to social media, it’s unsurprising that the amount of time people spend on social media has increased yet again during 2018, and is expected to still do so in 2019-20.

To be more specific, between the age group 16-64 years, about 81% of online Kiwis use YouTube, 79% use Facebook and 46% use Instagram, which is a higher number of users compared to most countries, including the US, UK, and our very own neighbouring Aussies.

15 to 24-year-old Kiwis spend over six hours a week online via their smartphones, compared with the overall average.

The domination for social media usage by Kiwis continues to be a fight between YouTube and Facebook, as it did so last year as well.

Social media provides low-cost and high-impact marketing. For Kiwis, it has surprisingly been effective for eCommerce businesses, particularly in the fashion industry.

In fact, as per Hamilton-raised fashionista Turet Knuefermann, she claims that “Our Facebook presence, which we set up in 2011, has been the biggest support to our online store and has given us the highest measurable return. What’s more, it’s free and takes seconds to update. I think it’s also less intrusive than the kind of email mailouts that flood people’s inboxes daily, as people choose to look at your feeds, and they’re quick to share with friends. It’s also easy to link images to the website and people don’t expect a high-quality image – they just want the latest update on what’s new and to be inspired. The more you can do to make your product visible, the more people will be inclined to purchase and share their excitement with friends and family, which in turn creates more demand.

Engaging with customers on social media makes the customers feel closer to the industry they are interested in and are more likely to stay loyal.

Use Of Internet Technologies New Zealand

Along with most countries, New Zealand’s internet users are also one of the most internet addicted nations on the globe. They spend an average of 22 hours per week online, according to Cisco. Strangely, Australians spend slightly lesser.

New Zealand’s connection speed is recently ranked 21st in the world, which is a double jump from 42nd back in 2016.

Also, the average monthly broadband data usage on fibre is about 250 gigabytes per connection, while usage on copper is at 141 GB. Back in 2014, the average monthly data usage on fibre was only 91 GB per connection.

New Zealanders appear to want to be connected more than Australians. As of January 2019, 21% of users have used voice-initiated search, and this is predicted to grow with a third of internet users in New Zealand are using three or more devices to access the internet each week.

Ecommerce Kiwi Internet Users Monthly

It was found that New Zealanders actively participate in e-commerce activities, of which, 84% are there to Google research online for a product or service before making a purchase, meanwhile, 70% visit an online store on the web.

Surprisingly, despite the prevalence of mobile e-commerce websites, only about 36% make any purchases via mobile, half of the online purchases are still made through a desktop. This is mostly due to the lack of optimizing e-commerce websites to mobile and low priority on the improvement of load performance.

Additionally, e-commerce accounts for a mere 8.1% of all retail spending in the country. Comparatively a smaller percentage than other highly developed economies, which suggests that online shopping still has plenty of room to expand.

Top Ecommerce Merchant Segments In New Zealand

Kiwis online spending averages at $1,876.24 annually, with 30-44-year-olds being the most active. However, those between 45-59-year-olds may not be the most active shoppers, yet, they are the biggest spenders.

When it comes to the sexes, Kiwi women are more frequent shoppers than men. However, men tend to spend higher amounts even though the items are comparatively fewer.

Social Media Platforms Where New Zealanders Are Most Active

90% of Kiwis between age 18 and 39 are on social media. According to Nielsen Online Rating report of 2018, Facebook alone reaches 61% of Kiwis in a typical month.

It should be noted that Kiwis don’t “just” use social media for connecting with friends, about 40% of them have been contacted about a potential job opportunity via social media platforms. It is also used for purchase recommendations, in fact, about 85% of buying decisions are made by researching the web for information and recommendations from their peers.

Although YouTube is not strictly a social media platform, this video-sharing website definitely functions like one now. Digital marketers pair this platform with Google AdWords to further optimize their campaigns, cater to specific audiences and generate leads.

As for Facebook, like in most countries, this platform remains one of the most popular social media in New Zealand with over 3.20 million active users. The current top three industries on Facebook start from retail with over 5,237,686 users, followed by eCommerce with 4,179,083 users, and services with over 3,662,023 users.

Mobile Activities For New Zealanders Each Month

The latest Nielsen Online Retail Report reveals that New Zealanders shopping online via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has increased significantly since last year. Nielsen found that over 41% of mobile phone owners made purchases via the device and another 58% via their tablets.

Mobile shopping is particularly high in New Zealand at 76%, ranking it among the highest worldwide. This means a vigorous mobile e-commerce market is actively in operation with almost a third (31%) of sales are now completed via mobile devices. As per this constant growth, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 21.9% by 2021, thereby whipping out desktop-based sales.

It is immensely essential for business owners to ensure that their websites and apps work across multiple platforms if they want to ride this growth market. Users will only stay on a mobile website so long as it gives them a good user experience. Young metropolitan consumers are more likely to use their mobiles for online shopping than older demographics. Adolescents between the age group of 15-24-year-olds spend over 6 hours a week online on their smartphones.

New Zealanders are using their smartphones and tablets for researching products, price checking, finding store locations and generally browsing shopping lists.


Compared to other areas in the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand’s digital landscape is yet to reach its full potential as it continues to grow consistently. Based on the data we’ve gathered, the growth seems to tilt more towards mobile. Besides mobile, there are ample of other digital marketing opportunities in the New Zealand market such as voice search, artificial intelligence, social media, and video content. By using Google AdWords platform, marketers can achieve success through SEO and PPC campaigns.

Note, data presented in this article is subject to change and may vary from past figures due to certain classifications being adjusted or removed as new information sources become available.

To learn more about the digital landscaping market in New Zealand, contact us today at, or just dial 0800-826-366.

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