TREND REVEAL: Younger generation prove to be savviest shoppers
27 Jul 2021

PayPal’s tips for smart sales shopping

We recently released the ‘PayPal EOFY Sales Trends Report 2021’, which revealed Australia’s younger shoppers (Gen Z and Gen Y, better known as millennials) are becoming savvier when it comes to making their dollars go further.

As we emerge from the busy midyear sales season, discover our top four insights into the shopping and spending trends of the nation, and PayPal’s top five tips for shopping smart during sales.

Sales Trends Infographic

TREND #1 - Holding out for a promo

Showing their discount-driven discipline, almost two thirds of Gen Z (61%) and more than half of millennials (55%) say they have waited until an item went on sale before making the plunge to buy it online. The younger generations are also the most likely to have bought an item at full price, returned it and purchased it at a lower price when it went on sale (one-in-six millennials (17%) and 14% of Gen Z vs 10% national average).

But it’s not just the young who love a bargain – 50% of Australian consumers across the board report that they “hate buying at full price”. Even while shopping in-store, two-in-five Australians (40%) admit they’ve researched online prices on their mobiles, to ensure they are nabbing the best deal for their money.

TREND #2 - Making the most of sales moments

Millennials are the most adventurous generation with their shopping, as over a quarter (27%) have bought new brands they wouldn’t usually buy because they were on sale, compared to 22% of all Australians.

Millennials are so determined to bag bargains that one-in-five (21%) confessed to sales FOMO, saying they feel like they are “losing money” if they don’t buy an item they want when it’s on sale.

Crucially, chances to secure discounts are more frequent than ever, with more than a quarter of online businesses (29%) report that they always have at least one sale running, up by a third from two years ago (19% in 2019). Two-in-five online businesses (39%) say they participate in the traditional sales periods of the year and almost two-thirds (63%) offer sales during the year outside of sales seasons.

Making the most of sales

TREND #3 – Unplanned sales shopping

While great at spotting savings opportunities, the average millennial shopper rang up 3.4 unplanned items at a cost of $197 in the last three months, which is about 60% more purchases and $87 more than the average Aussie shopper (2.1 items at a cost of $110 is the national average). This can be fine if the item would have been purchased for a higher price at a later date, but our tips below advise how to avoid the risk of buyer’s remorse that can come with impulse purchases, including shopping with a budget and planning your purchases in advance.

TREND #4 - Online retailers give bricks-and-mortar shops a run for their money

While slightly more Australians still shop the sales in-store (55%), the scales are shifting with the majority saying they prefer to shop the sales online (51%). This preference to shop online is significantly higher for younger shoppers, with millennials leading the charge (70%).

Aussie shoppers see a variety of benefits to shopping the sales online rather than in-store. Over a third of Australians say it is faster and more convenient to shop sale events online (39%), that there is more product choice online (37%), and that they get better deals online (36%).

Online vs bricks and mortar

A word from the experts

PayPal’s Consumer Shopping Expert, Jessica Rix, gave us her thoughts on our latest shopping and sales trends reveal: “Everyone loves getting a good deal, and it’s great to see how Aussie millennials are becoming increasingly savvy in scouting out discounts when they shop.

Jessica Rix

Consumer Shopping Expert, Jessica Rix

 

“As the sales cycle gets busier than before, we’re seeing more millennial shoppers looking for deals to make their dollars go further. On the flipside, this means millennial shoppers can be reluctant to spend outside of sales season – we found over a quarter (27%) saying they only shop when items are on sale or discounted with only one-in-ten (10%) saying they don’t care whether items are on sale or not.

“With so many sale events now and throughout the year, it is easy to get carried away so it is important to plan and keep a cool head going in. Sales are a great time to buy what you need or try something new, as long as you are spending within your means and love your new purchases.

"Having grown up with the Internet and emergence of online sales events, millennials will naturally gravitate to where they can quickly and easily find the best bang for their buck with the least hassle. So, it’s no surprise that the online sales are now going neck to neck with offline.

“Regardless of whether a consumer is shopping in-store or online, digital experiences are becoming the consumer expectation. With 40% of Australians reporting that they’re on their mobile phones researching competitor prices while physically shopping in-store, retailers can’t underestimate the importance of digital across all environments.

“COVID increased the pace of consumer behaviour change. More Aussie shoppers started buying online and picking up in-store and conversely going to physical stores to view goods then making digital purchases to have delivered to their door. Digital has become intrinsic to both online and offline channels and we are seeing Australian consumers adapting their behaviours to seize the best of both digital and traditional sales,” concluded Ms. Rix.

Sales Shopping Tips:

  1. Shop with a budget and plan your purchases – give yourself a budget before you embark on a shopping spree and consider the items you really need or want. Make a list and do your best to stick with it. It’s not a bargain if you’re never going to use it.
  2. Do your research and price compare check that you are getting a good price for your purchase and make use of the internet to research the deals around.
  3. Make use of discount coupons – look for discount codes and coupons, which can help you save even more or take the sting out of hefty shipping costs. Honey, for instance, automatically searches for discount codes and applies them to your cart at various retailers.
  4. Check the returns policy – avoid ‘buyer’s remorse’ and give yourself a way out – shop with retailers where you can be assured of a decent returns policy. Paying with PayPal lets you access free return shipping* if you aren’t satisfied with your buy, and you may also be eligible for our Buyer Protection if the product fails to arrive.
  5. Stay safe while shopping – shop with reputable merchants and be cautious in sharing your payment information at checkout.

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