Avoiding Christmas mall madness: a third of Kiwis choose shopping by smartphone

Research carried out by new Kiwi trading and shopping site and app SellShed has found one in three New Zealanders are shopping on their mobile phones, rather than joining the pre-Christmas malls mania.

The research found 35% of Kiwis intend to use their smartphone to source presents.

It also found that three quarters of the respondents (75%) felt confident that they were going to have all their presents organised by Christmas Eve due to the shopping opportunities at their fingertips.

This means avoiding the frantic last-minute shopping trip on the night before Christmas.

The results echo that of the latest Nielson Online Retail report, which found that 655,000 people are shopping on their smartphones, a growth of 127% year on year.

But this may mean bad news for retailers, which last year experienced a 7.5% increase in in-store spending in December in 2013.

 Paymark head of sales and marketing, Paul Whiston, which processes the majority of electronic transactions in New Zealand, says last year’s pre-Christmas rush provided a boost for retailers.

"The figures were positively impacted by the Christmas rush - Christmas Eve alone was up 18.5 per cent,” he says.

However, this years Paymark figures show Christmas is off to a slow start in 2014 – spending for the first week of December was only up 4.9% from the same week last year, compared to 2013’s 8.6% spending increase from 2012.

A PayMark spokesperson, Mark Spicer, said one of the reasons contributing to this was a trend towards online shopping.

SellShed CEO Peter Howell says the company has seen a rise in the number of people using their app as the silly season approaches.

“People are enjoying the convenience of shopping online or on a smartphone app, and avoiding the crowds and long waits that are often associated with the traditional Christmas shopping period,” he says.

But though gift-givers may try their hardest to get it right, respondents were already considering the options in front of them for getting rid of unwanted presents.

The results found 56% of people would consider putting a present up for sale online if they didn’t want it.

The younger members of your family and friends are the ones to watch when giving gifts, as your well-thought out present could be up for sale online on Boxing Day.

25 to 34 year-olds are the most likely to put presents up for sale over any other age group (67%), compared to less tech savvy over-65 year olds (41%).