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Australians turn to discounts amid rising living costs
Tue, 5th Mar 2024

Recent research from ShopFully has revealed that due to the rising cost of living, a significant majority of Australians are now more reliant than ever on promotional deals and discounts. Specifically, 87% of Australians are intending to utilise these discounts over the next year to help manage their finances.

In a survey conducted by ShopFully comprising 1,000 Australian consumers and 10,000 consumers across Europe in February 2024, participants were asked about their predicted shopping behaviours and preferences in the upcoming year. Questions ranged from preferred purchasing methods, to consumers' research habits regarding potential products, and their probability of choosing eco-friendly products.

The collected data paints a clear picture: Half of Australians do not expect their purchasing power to grow this year, with various industries expecting to see spending reductions. Specifically, 34% of respondents plan to reduce food and beverage costs, 46% beauty-related purchases, 50% clothing, 49% electronics and 52% home furniture. Additionally, when choosing new brands, Australians prioritise attractive prices or discounts, as indicated by 65% of respondents. Conversely, European consumers focus more on the quality of potential purchases, with 66% selecting that as a determining factor.

Interestingly, both Australian and European consumers place high importance on the sustainability of products. In 2024, fewer than one in ten (9%) consumers in Australia and Europe view product sustainability as insignificant, strongly suggesting that the majority of consumers continue to prioritise eco-friendly options.

However, the survey also revealed that only 5% of Australians have utilised AI tools such as smart speakers to assist in purchases, indicating a lack of embracement of technology in shopping habits. Brendan Straw, ShopFully's Country Manager for Australia, believes this figure will change with time, predicting AI to "have a big impact on the shopping experience over the coming years, enabling a more transparent flow of information on promotions and ultimately encouraging Aussies to do more shopping in-store".

Straw also commented on the sustained trend of consumers being more strategic with their spending, especially during big retail events like Black Friday. He pointed out that "although spending is set to decline – consumers are being more savvy about when they spend, relying on promotional deals and big sales events to make up for planned cutbacks on a variety of different goods".

These findings provide valuable insights into the anticipated shopping behaviours and habits of consumers for the upcoming year, demonstrating a shift in priorities as people continue to deal with financial challenges amidst the rising cost of living.