Christmas Shopping in a Click - Last Minute Online Shopping Makes It Easy for Kiwis

December 13, 2018 | Auckland | By Barkha Patel

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Local online stores will be ringing in their virtual tills this year, as more Kiwis than ever shop online for Christmas presents.

Annual Mastercard research has revealed that just over a quarter of New Zealanders (26%) will use local online retailers to make the bulk of their Christmas purchases this year, up 12% since 2016. While half of Kiwis shoppers (51%) will still be heading in-store for most of their Christmas shopping, this is declining year-on-year and down 15% since 2016.

“We are seeing online shopping increase in popularity every year for Christmas shopping – particularly with local businesses. The shift is mainly moving from using local shops to shopping locally online, so people get the same quality gifts but beat the in-store Christmas rush.”

“One of the benefits of local online stores is they are able to ship all sorts of presents quickly, so consumers have confidence their gifts will be under the tree on Christmas Day,” says Ruth Riviere, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

International stores are also popular for organised Kiwi shoppers, with one in ten looking off shore to buy most of their Christmas gifts (11%). This is increasing year-on-year, up from 10% in 2017, 9% in 2016 and 6% in 2015 .

The Mastercard research showed Kiwis are savvy shoppers when it comes to finding the best deal – with more than two thirds saying they research online (70%), and then either purchase online (41%) or in-store (29%) depending on where the best deals are.

The most important factor when choosing where to purchase Christmas gifts is quality (84%), followed by price (81%) and convenience (78%).

“While international online stores offer a large range of options, the inevitable last-minute Christmas dash means the convenience of local retailers is hard to beat, whether that’s in-store or online. For those heading to the shops this December, contactless payments help keep queues moving with speedier transactions – for those transactions over $80 you can still use contactless, you’ll just need to also enter your PIN.”

People are also thinking about gifting experiences this Christmas, with 40% intending to gift an experience, such as a spa treatment, concert tickets or trip away, rather than just physical gifts.

Millennials in particular are driving the trend in experiences beyond physical gifts, with 32% of those between 18-34 planning to split gifts equally between physical presents and experiences, more than any other demographic.

“We know that people value the gift of experiences, which can sometimes be more personal and a great way to create memories beyond Christmas. This is a trend we are also seeing globally across the year, but it is especially pronounced at this time of year,” says Riviere.

The most popular type of gift to purchase online is books, movies and music in any format (57% – local or overseas online retailer), with the most significant reason for using an international retailer being lowest price (72%). This is followed by gift vouchers for goods & services (39%), and toys and games (35%), with price also being the key factor.

“For those who are shopping online, make sure you are conscious of website security, delivery timings and return policies before handing over payment details. Customers can also feel confident that when paying with Mastercard they have Zero Liability protection[1], in the case of unauthorized transactions – whether they are made in-store, online or via mobile device,” adds Riviere.

Top five gifts purchased in-store
1.    Food, wine & spirits (72%) 4.      Technology & electronics (54%)
2.    Homewares (69%) 5.      Sports & outdoor equipment (50%)
3.    Clothing & accessories (59%)  
Top five gifts purchased on New Zealand-based online sites
1.    Gift vouchers for goods & services (35%) 4.      Technology & electronics (23%)
2.    Books, TV/movies or music (any format) (33%) 5.      Make-up & fragrances (18%)
3.    Toys & games (25%)  
Top five gifts purchased on overseas online sites
1.    Books, TV/movies or music (any format) (24%) 4.      Technology (9%)
2.    Clothing & accessories (13%) 5.      Sports & outdoor equipment (8%)
3.    Toys & games (10%)  



About the research
Mastercard annual Christmas research has been commissioned for the past five years by Perceptive Research. This monthly Perceptive Omnibus surveyed 1,030 New Zealanders online using a nationwide sampling framework. The results are then weighted to Statistics New Zealand census gender, age and location data.

The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent Mastercard’s financial performance.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNZ, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard media contact
Sean Ryan

Acumen Republic for Mastercard
+64 9 354 0583
+64 27 266 3297


Barkha Patel, Vice President, Communications, International Markets (IMK), Mastercard