Category Archives: online sales

Latest New Zealand eCommerce Statistics

Statistics New Zealand has just released the latest Online Shopping figures from the Household Use of Information and Communication Technology report for 2012 — and they make fascinating reading.

Key points:

nz-ecommerce-statistics

Yes, 54% of New Zealand’s 2.8 million Internet users (those aged 15 plus who went online in the last twelve months) shopped online and made at least one purchase in 2012.

If we look at individual age groups, those numbers go way up:

ecommerce-by-age

Typical online shopping expenditure ranges from twenty to five hundred dollars in a typical month (with a small percentage who spend a lot more):

nz-ecommerce-spend

As Statistics New Zealand notes:

It also seems that what we’re buying is changing. We’re not necessarily buying tangible items; over half of those who shopped online had at least one item delivered electronically. This may include items such as e-books, music, or e-tickets.

Looking at those who had made a purchase in the four weeks before the survey, women outnumbered men in spending a total value of up to $500, while the more expensive purchases predominantly belonged to men.

The number of people spending a total of over $2,000 online has doubled since [the previous survey, i] 2009, to reach 44,000 people in a four-week period.

If you are one of those who aren’t yet offering ecommerce on your website, NOW would be a good time to start. Check out our Mastering eCommerce course.

Don’t Waste Your Home Page

As we enter 2013, we begin a series of tips on how to maximise your online sales. Some of these tips will be drawn from our Mastering eCommerce course, others will be inspired by new thoughts and articles that we come across online.

Our first tip, brought to mind by this article on “7 Unlucky Things You Can Do To Your Ecommerce Site in 2013”, is simply:

Don’t Waste Your Home Page Space

There are a number of ways to waste your home page’s potential: hero shots and distracting rotating banners, unclear value propositions (or none at all), irrelevant merchandising or even annoying country-selector splash pages when geolocation tools can do the job.

To put the home page in context: it’s the single most important part of your ecommerce site, the page that draws the most eyeballs. Think of it as the equivalent of the front page of a printed catalogue. In the days when we worked (during our time in ad agencies) with some of New Zealand’s largest retailers, we saw first hand that the front page is solid gold — items featured on the front page were expected to be the biggest sellers of all products in the catalogue. If they didn’t have that potential, they simply weren’t featured on the front page.

Similarly, the home page of your website needs to lead to more sales than anywhere else on your site. If it doesn’t it, change it immediately.

Let’s look at the front pages of some of NZ’s leading online retailers:

Nothing tentative about The Warehouse’s home page — and the top product panel rotates through a number of offers, in case the first three you see don’t attract you.

Another hard-selling front page, this time in the form of one-day-only deals from EziBuy.

Our leading electronics retailer, Dick Smith, similarly devotes its home page to hot product offerings.

And, unsurprisingly, we see a similar sales-centric home page approach from Farmers.

We could go on, but we think you get the idea.

Essential Home Page Components

What else should you include on your home page, apart from your latest offers and promotions?

Econsultancy editor Graham Charlton suggests 27 essential elements of an effective ecommerce homepage. In our view the ten most important are:

  • Search box
  • Store finder
  • Telephone number
  • Contact details
  • Address
  • My account / sign in
  • Shopping basket / checkout link
  • Email sign up
  • Delivery information
  • Accepted payment methods