PriceSpy Reveals How Kiwis Kept Cool over Summer

According to new popularity data from PriceSpy, the fully impartial price and product comparison site, Kiwis are feeling the heat this summer, with online traffic increasing by a massive 96 per cent* for air conditioning heat pumps (January 2019, compared to December 2018).

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says: “With the summer going down in the New Zealand history books as being the third warmest on record**, we have seen a huge spike in the number of Kiwis searching for air conditioning heat pumps to help keep them cool over the warmer months.

“The most popular days of the year so far appeared to be 10th and 12th January, which coincided with when thermometer readings reached a sweltering 29 degrees in Auckland alone, 8.7 degrees higher than the national average for January***.”

Whilst data from PriceSpy suggests consumer interest in air conditioning heat pumps is rapidly growing, overall popularity for fans and portable air conditioning units appears to be cooling down.

Liisa continues:  “Historically, fans and portable air conditioning units have been a popular choice of products for Kiwis wanting to keep cool over the warmer summer months.  This year however, our data suggests otherwise as the insights revealed there was actually a decrease of -25 per cent within both of these categories (for January 2019 compared to the month previous).”

“This change may be due to a number of reasons.  Temperatures this year may just be more extreme than that of previous years and Kiwis are looking for a more permanent fixture that will help keep their households cool throughout the summer (and warm in the winter).

“The shift in consumer behaviour may also be down to the pricing strategies of retailers.  For example, based on the five most popular products listed on PriceSpy within the shopping categories of air conditioning heat pumps and fans**** (as at 7 March 2019), the average price of air conditioning heat pumps has dropped significantly by 19 per cent since the start of December.

“The price of fans on the other hand have increased by one per cent over this same period of time.

  Average monthly prices*** Average price difference (February 2019 vs December 2018)
December 2018 January 2019 February 2019
Average price of air conditioning heat pumps****, based on top five most popular models $2181 $1799 $2430 -$249 cheaper today (11% saving)
Average price for fans****, based on top five most popular models $244 $238 $260 $16 more expensive today (7% more

“The switch towards pricier air conditioning units may also have something to do with the two most popular fans on the market featuring bladeless technology, as these types of items come at a premium.  Consumers therefore may simply be choosing to upgrade from a fan to air conditioning.”

As well as products that help to keep people cool, PriceSpy insights also reveal a number of shopping categories have also increased in popularity alongside the sunnier, warmer weather.

Liisa adds:  “Our insights show just how much Kiwis love the great outdoors, as clicks for lawn mowers increased by 25 per cent over the same period of time (December 2018 through to January 2019), as did the popularity for sunglasses (14 per cent) and life jackets (11 per cent).

Top five most popular sunglasses (from December 2018 to date, based on historical click data)

Top five most popular sunglasses (from December 2018 to February 2019 Most expensive price listed, from December 2018 to February 2019 Least expensive price listed, from December 2018 to February 2019 Difference
Oakley Holbrook $158.24 (on 12 January 2019) $143.41 (on 12 December 2018) 9 per cent difference
Ray-Ban RB3016 Clubmaster $172.56 (on 28 February 2019) $161.16 (on 12 December 2018) 7 per cent difference
Ray-Ban RB2140 Original Wayfarer Classic $172.56 (on 28 February 2019) $161.16 (12 December 2018) 7 per cent difference
Ray-Ban RB4165 $161.81 (on 28 January 2019) $151.12 (on 12 December 2018) 7 per cent difference
Ray-Ban RB4171 Erika $149 (17 December 2019) $145.46 (on 15 December 2018) 2 per cent difference

The prices quoted above are the cheapest listed price on PriceSpy each date.

Liisa concludes:  “Whilst the summer sun is certainly encouraging consumers to spend out on products that can be enjoyed at this time of year, we always recommend shoppers should carry out important price and product research before they go out and spend their hard-earned cash.

“Even over the short period of time from December 2018 through to February 2019, our insights show the average price drop of air conditioning heat pumps is in the realms of $200, which is huge. Consumers need to make sure they aren’t caught out by such pricing strategies, to ensure they aren’t overpaying on purchases they are looking to make.

“Using a price comparison website or app such as PriceSpy gives the power back to the consumers, offering full transparency advice and information on what retailers are charging.  Download the app for free, today.” Download the PriceSpy app here.

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