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Five insights on revenge shopping in New Zealand

young woman lying on floor smiling with pink light

Thanks to online shopping, checking courier tracking links became a lockdown pastime for many Kiwis.

At our recent webinar on how to engage people as we move out of lockdown, we were asked what insight we had about latent demand and "revenge shopping". We didn't have time to talk about it in the webinar, so as we process the implications of what recovery will look like for kiwi businesses, here are our insights:

  1. Winning while losing: Kiwis have been told that we are winning and are likely to look for confirmation that winning should feel good. So, purchases that make people feel good are likely to be high on their shopping list, especially if they are not large investments - cosmetics for example. Missed celebrations can now be re-booted as a way of feeling like we are winning, so gifts and meals out may hit the credit card splurge.   
  2. Pride in New Zealand and supporting local: These motivations will be convenient justifications for shopping - helping the economy get back up and running as part of the collective effort. Restaurants should benefit from this, as well as local shops.
  3. Feeding our independent streak: Kiwis have been a bit liked caged animals, straining a the bars to indulge our independence. Again, this is where personal shopping items can play a part to make us feel we are forging our own path again. After weeks of track pants and T-shirts, our wardrobe may feel like a new world. However, it will also feel like the old world - and people know they have changed. Nothing this big can fail to change people, so an urge to carve out a new identity through clothes might create a growth in sales. 
  4. Getting to know your home: The lockdown has been like an ethnographic immersion session and people are seeing what is of value and what does and doesn't work. So, replacing the fridge or buying a new heater for winter could cause an uplift in home appliances.
  5. Starved of experience: whereas we've all made the best of lockdown with some amazing creativity, we're now raging to get some real experience. Over half of kiwis say they are more likely to travel domestically to holiday (with Wanaka/Queenstown taking out the top spot, followed by Nelson/Marlborough) - good news for airlines and ferries. 

However, debt is a cause of anxiety and our belief in a stable future has been dented, so confidence in borrowing may inhibit purchase of larger ticket items. There is good news for contracted services, though. Very few people, around 5%, say they they are planning to churn contracts in the services sector (e.g. insurance, telco, utilities), so it's yours to lose. Do the right thing by your customers and you'll be part of their reassuringly stable future. 

It's never been more important to make information-based decisions. Because although the country is in lockdown, organisations still have to make choices that will guide their actions and determine the success of what they do.

So, in this series, we’re sharing what TRA knows about New Zealanders to help inform better decision making, so that our companies can better serve people. 

Read the other articles in this series:

Kiwis or New Zealanders?
When progress is on pause, how should organisations behave?
A nation of independently minded rule-benders
When visions of a new life add uncertainty
What do Kiwis want brands to get behind?
Sex Matters.

Focus on people, not the flag

Colleen Ryan
Partner at TRA
Colleen has a curious and strategic mindset fueled by 40 years of experience in business across Europe, North America and APAC countries. With a fascination and deep understanding of what it is to be human, specifically applying principles from cultural sociology, social psychology, behavioural science, and cultural analysis, she brings breakthrough insights to brand strategy, creative development and customer centricity.

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