Same, but different.

Kiwis are still buying but we are doing it differently.

As decision-makers, marketers and communicators we need to be able to really dig into the habits, demographics and most importantly the motivations of our customers.

As Forbes points out, many organisations talk about being data-driven, but few know what this concept really means. We know that when data-driven marketing strategies take hold, they become an increasingly important point of competitive differentiation. We encourage brands to be confident in their messaging and be brave with their creative so they don’t get lost in the sea of sameness.

It is obvious that COVID-19 is affecting New Zealand’s economy. Statistics New Zealand has released a new webpage that gathers key high-frequency and near real-time economic indicators to help track the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. There is a lot to take in. But this great new resource shows graphs from various sources, so we can see at a glance what’s happening to different components of the economy.

This data provides valuable insight into current household behaviours in New Zealand. It provides a wide range of economic, health and social indicators.

What do we know so far?

  • For those fortunate enough to have maintained a job and income during Alert Levels 4 & 3, there is still the ability to buy stuff other than groceries. Exercise equipment, grooming products, home office supplies, and loungewear are some of the most popular items that online customers in New Zealanders have purchased during lockdown.
  • Looking at total bank card spending statistics for March we see that consumables, (eg mainly, groceries in supermarkets), soared by more than 17%. While hospitality dropped by more than 30%. Other sectors have also been hit hard. Car sales were down 20%, apparel and footwear down 30% and travel down by more than 50%.
  • April numbers for bank card spending across three different areas – consumables, hospitality and total card spending – are due out shortly.
  • Meanwhile, there are other interesting stats that paint a picture of life in NZ during COVID-19 lockdown. Newshub revealed remarkable McDonald's NZ stats showing the full scope of first-day COVID-19 level 3.

We have undertaken pioneering research on the female economy in New Zealand and Australia. We have deep insights into what women want and need. An estimated 80% of daily consumer decisions are made or influenced by women (for products for both men and women). Our Gender Intelligence Report tells us women want to be talked to differently. They tell us advertising and communication should be funnier, smarter, and way less sexist.

These insights have helped us to support brands, businesses and organisations who want to become distinctively different. As New Zealand and Australian purchasing patterns and household expenditure evolves - during different alert levels - interpreting the data correctly is more important than ever.