Weekly Digest – 6 August 2021

Medsafe Gives Provisional Approval to AstraZeneca Vaccine

NZ’s health regulator Medsafe has granted provisional approval for the AstraZeneca vaccine for those 18 years old and above.  The government has secured 7.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through an advance purchase agreement last year. So far, NZ has only been using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.


Two Million Doses Administered in NZ

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out which officially began on 20 February has reached another milestone.  As of 4 August, more than 2 million doses have been administered, and 770,000 people are fully vaccinated.

Those aged 55+ who haven’t already been vaccinated can expect to get invitations from this Friday.


ANZ Survey: Business Confidence Eases in July

An ANZ survey showed that New Zealand business sentiment eased in July, but remained at robust levels, while inflation pressures continued to increase.

A net 3.8% of respondents expected the economy to deteriorate over the year ahead, compared to a 0.6% pessimism level in June.  Meanwhile, 26.3% of respondents expected their own business to grow in the next 12 months, down from 31.6% in June.

Inflation expectations at 2.70% are the highest since early 2012, according to ANZ.


Mortgage Lending to Be Tightened as Housing Crisis Worsens

New Zealand’s Central Bank is planning to tighten mortgage lending further by lowering high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending and implementing debt-to-income (DTI) restrictions or interest rate floors.  This is after measures to control an inflated housing market and limit risky borrowing have had marginal impact.  The Reserve Bank of New Zealand aims to introduce these measures in October.

New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission has also launched an enquiry into the housing crisis as well.


New Zealand Opens Travel Bubble with Other Pacific Nations

Seasonal workers from selected Pacific countries will be allowed into New Zealand without undergoing two weeks in quarantine.  The expansion of the travel bubble will be restricted to horticulture and viticulture workers from Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu.


How Small Brands Can Compete with Major E-Commerce Companies

With advanced supply chain and shipping logistics capabilities, diverse offerings, and retail dominance, it can be overwhelming for small businesses to compete with major e-commerce companies.

However, instead of focusing on beating shipping speed, price points, or product offerings, small- and medium-sized e-commerce players can differentiate themselves by doing what the huge brands can’t.  This Forbes article shares some ways smaller brands can compete with the big names.

  • Find your niche.  Determine what your business excels at, and focus on that.
  • Make customer service king.  Short wait times and knowledgeable people ready to help every time customers call elevate the customer experience.
  • Run lean operations.  Ensure your operations run efficiently by establishing strong inventory management, demand forecasting, and enterprise resource planning and e-commerce platforms.

Want some expert advice on how to grow a profitable e-commerce business?  Book a one-on-one consultation with us so we can discuss your specific situation.

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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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