Will Santa deliver online prezzies in time?

New Zealand retailers look set for a bumper Christmas, with spending almost 5 per cent up on last year.

New Zealand retailers look set for a bumper Christmas, with spending almost 5 per cent up on last year.

Online retailers are doing even better, with one operator claiming a 300 per cent sales increase on last Christmas.

But the big question is: will Santa deliver his online presents in time?

Last year, Britain suffered blizzards and Australia had floods, which hampered the delivery of many goods bought online.

This year, Mother Nature has been kinder, but now we see online retailers failing in the competence department.

In Australia, a glitch stopped 700 Big W customers from getting the toys they'd ordered for Christmas for their kids.

Meanwhile, online retailer Groupon New Zealand has failed to deliver goods ordered online as long ago as September!

Purchasers are unhappy, and the New Zealand Commerce Commission is now investigating.

It may be that the suppliers are letting down the company, but, all the same, the Kiwi offshoot of the global giant does have a responsibility to its customers.

It is more than just a few daily deals at stake; it's the whole reputation of online trading. New Zealand has a healthy online sector, with operators like TradeMe being a showcase of successful online operations.

The entire e-commerce retail sector needs to think about what might happen to their own operations should online trading be affected by cowboys, incompetence and dodgy dealings.

Many countries have industry bodies to oversee and police their own sectors, to promote their own good name and come down hard on abusers. Judging by how Groupon New Zealand is letting down similar daily deal operators, as well as the entire online sector in New Zealand, it looks like something similar is needed here.