Start selling your product in New Zealand – 5 steps to success

Growing your business by expanding overseas can offer huge opportunities and New Zealand should certainly be on the top of your consideration list. In fact, the World Bank ranked New Zealand the top most business friendly country in its most recent “Ease of Doing Business” report. With a culture of innovation, New Zealand has a relatively simple and transparent regulatory environment and a strong economy. Over 88% of New Zealanders shop online and logistics in New Zealand are straightforward. You can see why New Zealand is an attractive destination in which to invest and start selling your products. With any business decision it’s important to take the right steps and access the risks in order to avoid failure. If you are considering launching a product in New Zealand, read our 5 steps to success.
Infographic: 5 steps to start selling in NZ

1. Research and plan

Begin by conducting thorough market research to understand the demand for your product in New Zealand. Identify your target audience and adapt your product offering to meet the local market, recognise cultural, language and even spelling differences. This could mean product modification, images, packaging or marketing. For example, the Vauxhall Nova car flopped in Spain. In Spanish, “no va” means “does not go”, not a good name for a car. Develop a pricing strategy that meets local demand and deals with factors, such as: currency fluctuations, regulatory and compliance variations. Undertake a detailed competitor analysis. Understanding your competition will enable you to successfully differentiate yourself.

Once you clearly understand your market you will be able to create a detailed business plan that outlines your objectives, marketing strategies, sales projections and financial forecasts. This plan will serve as a roadmap and will help you make informed decisions.

Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for your product in New Zealand

2. Understand the legal and regulatory requirements

Familiarise yourself with legal requirements before you start selling your product in New Zealand

While New Zealand has a relatively simple and transparent regulatory environment, there are still a number of steps you will need to follow. Familiarise yourself with these requirements before you start selling your product in New Zealand. Any business from NZ or overseas that wants to trade in New Zealand will likely need to register with the Companies Office. You will need to decide on a business structure. Choosing your structure is essential for tax purposes, income and how you conduct business. Ensure that your product complies with safety standards, labelling regulations and any specific industry regulations. Despite all this, setting up your business in New Zealand can be done in as little as three days. New Zealand has made it especially easy for businesses already incorporated in Australia to trade in New Zealand.

3. Understand shipping to New Zealand

New Zealand is a long way from anywhere and it can be expensive to get your product here. While these costs are unavoidable, you want to make sure that they, along with the extra charges and fees associated with importing goods, make sense for your business. Along with shipping, you will also need to understand the costs and logistics involved in importing goods to New Zealand. This includes customs clearance for your products in New Zealand. When importing your goods into New Zealand, they will need to be cleared by the New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). There are also costs involved in clearing your goods into New Zealand. Depending on the value of your goods you may have to pay duty (a tax on your imported goods) and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Understand logistics involved in importing goods to New Zealand
If you’re new to importing, you may want to consider employing an experienced professional to help guide you through the process of bringing goods into New Zealand. For example, our friends from Easy Freight help New Zealand importers save money on international freight and reduce mistakes by guiding how to comply with NZ Customs and biosecurity rules. With their extensive knowledge of documentation requirements, regulations and transportation costs, they can ease your shipping process without a doubt. No hidden fees or nasty surprises with your shipment are guaranteed.

4. Establish your distribution and supply chain

pick and pack orders

Consider how you will store your products. Set up efficient distribution and supply chain systems to ensure your product reaches customers in a timely manner. Partner with reliable logistics providers and establish appropriate inventory management practices. Should you choose to work with a 3PL (Third Party Logistics company) they will be able to 

  • collect your goods and securely transport them to our warehouse
  • check carefully for any possible damage
  • store, pick, pack and despatch orders as they are received from your customers
  • we can even handle customer returns, saving you time and money on international shipping


Working with a local 3PL will also allow you to benefit from competitive rates for NZ freight and receive advise about local market conditions and ways to promote your products.

5. Monitor and adapt

As with any market and economy, what is successful one year, may not be the next. Continuously monitor your sales, customer feedback and market trends and adapt your strategies accordingly. Stay informed about changes in regulations, consumer preferences and competition to remain competitive in the New Zealand market.

Continuously monitor your sales, customer feedback and market trends and adapt your strategies accordingly

Sign up with Stocka

Unlike a lot of 3PL companies, at Stocka we have made our pricing model simple and transparent to follow, with five pricing components; inwards goods, storage, pick and pack, freight, and a system admin fee. The system admin fee includes provision for you to access to your own Stocka Warehouse Management System (WMS), which operates as if it was your own stockroom providing real time transparency from the moment your stock arrives in New Zealand to when the order is delivered to the customer. Track orders, view inventory, generate reports, view customer details and pricing… everything you need to operate your business as if you were here in New Zealand. The portal will also seamlessly integrate into your e-commerce shopfront or WMS, meaning that any new orders will automatically filter into the warehouse for despatch.

Start selling in New Zealand with Stocka

We understand it can be hard to manage things when you are not physically in the country. At Stocka we are happy to help you establish or build your sales channels successfully and stay connected with your customers. Whether it’s help importing stock, understanding the retail landscape, or advice on local tradeshows, we are here to support you.

Want to find out more about how Stocka can help your business?

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