International retailers having no problems cracking New Zealand

International retailers are encountering very few issues in their quests to crack New Zealand, as a new study reveals that a huge chunk of online shopping dollars is being wired offshore.

According to, the Nielson Online Retail Report shows that almost $3.7 billion was spent by NZ’s population of online shoppers over the past year, with almost a third of this total (around $1 billion) going to international retailers. claims part of the reason why so many people are choosing to go with overseas stores is because they don’t have to pay tax on sprees worth over $400. In addition, big orders often entitle them to free shipping and most firms take shopping dollars via an online payment gateway, so there’s little incentive to buy goods locally.

Overseas purchasing experienced huge growth last year, to the extent that New Zealand retailers are reportedly scrambling for ways to compete with international websites.  

Ben Powles, general manager of online book and DVD seller Fishpond, said local sellers will only become more competitive by lowering their prices and ensuring they’ve got a good line of products to sell. Failing this, Mr Powles said companies could try looking further afield.

“If you are an online retailer you’ve got to look outside of New Zealand,” he said, adding that expansion into Australia would be the convenient option.


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