By Peter Chrisp, Chief Executive, NZTE
At Te Taurapa Tūhono, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the year 2020 will be remembered for two things: the coronavirus and a huge pivot to digital by the export businesses we work with.
With much of the world in lockdown and working from home for extended periods, we have looked afresh at how our homes are a hub for work, play, shopping and exercise.
As a small and agile country, New Zealand’s team of five million delivered an effective response to the pandemic – particularly on the health front. Our population can now go about their daily lives as normal, returning to the office, participating in team sports, and dining out.
However, our borders remain closed and our exporters, who have traditionally travelled to pursue and maintain business relationships, are now turning to digital commerce to conduct business in a Covid-19 world.
Consumers everywhere are shopping online more, and social media channels are seeing increased usage. Older generations have adopted online banking and shopping during Covid-19; and at the other end of the generations, younger people are shopping less frequently.
Online, click n’ collect, meal kits, contactless retail and direct-to-consumer shopping have further proliferated this ‘omni-channel’ retail and distribution, which also applies to service industries.
Whilst China is a predominantly online market, Australia and UK consumers prefer bricks and mortar retail. It is premium consumers in these latter markets who are increasing their purchasing online ahead of other consumer groups, and that is attractive for our exporters.
At NZTE, we have scaled up our digital services for the export businesses we work with. Using our network of independent and external specialists, we’re helping exporters with their digital strategies, generating leads online, direct-to-consumer online sales, social media, and infrastructure and systems.
With digital commerce opportunities across all sectors we work with, the demand for these services has been phenomenal.
Like these export businesses, NZTE is becoming a digitally enabled organisation.
We have launched a new digital world to help our export and investment communities discover, learn and connect. myNZTE is a free online portal offering curated, in-depth information and guidance to help exporters navigate their export and capital raising journeys.
Also on myNZTE, users can learn from their peers with our export stories, where exporters talk about the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them.
This use of digital allows us to provide information to exporters at scale in an open and transparent way, but it is not the whole story. NZTE’s digital presence complements our existing core strength – our international know-how and know-who.
To learn more about how we can help to grow your business internationally – get in touch with our team. After all, we are only half-way through 2020 and, whatever the next six months bring, NZTE is here to support you through these changing times.
Join NZTE at Techweek2020 for our Unlocking Global Opportunities series with our international teams; learn more about the capital raising process with our InvestEd Live events; or attend our new speaker series, Digitally Speaking.