30 May 2014

Online sales growth continues

6:52 am on 30 May 2014

Toys, games and books are among the fastest-growing online shopping categories, according to the latest BNZ online retail sales report.

The report shows the country's online retail spending in April rose 11 percent from April last year.

BNZ director of institutional research Gary Baker said online retail sales were estimated to be $2.8 billion, or just over 6 percent of total reported retail sales, for the year ended 31 March.

The interesting categories included entertainment, toys, games and books, which accounted for about 14 percent of online retail.

"Groceries, liquor and specialised food is quite a strong category as well, and it's one of the strongest-growing categories, and we think that a lot of the growth there is happening in the special foods, which includes all your health supplements," Mr Baker said.

Mr Baker said while online sales continued to enjoy strong growth, he doubted they would ever overtake bricks and mortar stores.

"I don't know about overtake because the trend has been there for a while but the growth rate is slowing," he said.

"If you go back a couple of years, online retail is growing at more like 20 or 30 percent a year. Now we're growing at around 10 percent a year.

"So as the base gets bigger and bigger, the percentage is going to be smaller each year, all things being equal."