It’s official: There’s a never-ending sales cycle and we LOVE it
28 May 2019
From discount hunting, addiction to sale shopping, and our tendency to impulse buy, today’s release of the PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report 2019 reveals we are a nation of sales-hungry bargain-hunters.
Aussies love a bargain, and we’re seeing more and more savvy shoppers take advantage of the nearly always-on sales cycles from businesses across the country.
  • 7 in 10 Aussies (68%) say they are “always on the hunt for discounts”
  • 1 in 6 younger shoppers (16% of 18-36 yrs) admit they are “Addicted to shopping the sales”
  • Half of Aussies (50%) have waited until an item was on sale before buying it online
  • Over half of Aussies (58%) made an impulse purchase because of a sale, with the average shopper buying 2.7 impulse items to the value of $108 in the last 3 months

Tuesday, 28 May 2019, Sydney: From discount hunting, addiction to sale shopping, and our tendency to impulse buy, today’s release of the PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report 2019 reveals we are a nation of sales-hungry bargain-hunters. Almost seven in ten Aussies (68%) admit they are always on the hunt for discounts when shopping online and half (50%) say they have waited until an item was on sale before buying it online.

Aussies LOVE online sales

While Aussies love a good sale, our younger generations are even more discount hungry, with three quarters of Gen Z (77%) and Gen Y (73%) respondents confessing they are always looking for sales. Surprisingly, it’s not just the younger generations on the hunt for a good deal. More wealthy Aussies, specifically those on an annual income of $150,000+, were also the most likely to actively seek out discounts (74%), regardless of their age.

So, what’s driving our hunt for a bargain? The research showed that some deals are just too good to miss and nearly one in five Australians (18%) suffer from sale-related FOMO, saying “I feel like I’m losing money if I don’t buy an item when I see it on sale.” This jumps significantly for Gen Z (27%) and Gen Y (25%) shoppers.

PayPal’s Shopping Expert, Danielle Grant said: “Aussies love a bargain, and we’re seeing more and more savvy shoppers take advantage of the nearly always-on sales cycles from businesses across the country. It’s definitely a more strategic approach to shopping, with half of Aussie (50%) saying they’ve watched and waited until something was on sale before snapping it up at a bargain price. 

“We also found Aussies take advantage of the sales to try out new brands or products without breaking the bank.”

On the hunt for a bargain:  impulse buys vs. strategic discount finds

Over half of Australians (58%) have made a sales-driven impulse purchase in the last 3 months, with the average shopper buying 2.7 items, spending $108 on an impulse after seeing items on sale. Gen Y are the biggest impulse spenders buying, on average, 3.6 unplanned items at a cost of $145 in the last 3 months.

However impulse buying is not without its risks. More than a quarter of Australians (28%) have bought something online because it was on sale but regretted it later. Younger shoppers are even more likely to experience buyer’s remorse, with more than a third admitting they have felt guilty after making a sales-driven purchase (Gen Z 39%, Gen Y 35%).

Nearly one in six (16%) younger shoppers (18-36 years) said they are addicted to shopping the sales. Interestingly though, Gen Z were nearly four times as likely to say they’re addicted to ‘shopping the sales’ compared to Gen X (19% vs. 5%), indicating the obsession for sales is more prevalent among younger shoppers.

Savvy Sale Shopping

A quarter of Australians (25%) think online discounting drives impulse purchasing behaviour, which can be bad for consumer budgets. This jumps to 35% for Gen Z, indicating that while they are most likely to be addicted to sales, they are also more wary of the impact sales are having on their back pocket. One in five Australians (20%) also think continual discounting drives over-consumption and waste. This jumps to a quarter of Gen Z (24%).

“It’s important Aussies don’t get too carried away when shopping the sales and spend beyond their means.  Bargains are great if you’re buying what you need or want to try something new, but it can be easy to over spend – just ask me about shoes!  Make sure your purchases fit within your budget so you don’t regret the purchase later on.” Ms Grant said.

Ms Grant shared some tips and tricks to ensure Aussies are making the most of the sales, but staying on budget:

  1. Shop with a plan and know your budget - consider whether you really need the item and give yourself a budget before going on an online shopping spree.
  2. Do your research and price compare - check that you are getting a good discount, not just a minor mark down on something that was originally over-priced.
  3. Check the returns policy  - to avoid ‘buyers’ remorse’ only shop a sale with a decent returns policy.  Paying with PayPal lets you access free return shipping+ if the item isn’t what you expected, and you may also be eligible for our Buyer Protection if the product fails to arrive.

Store stampede at sale time soon to be a thing of the past

While slightly more Australians currently shop the sales in-store (51%), the scales are shifting with the majority saying they prefer to shop the sales online (57%). This preference to shop the sales online is significantly higher for younger shoppers (Gen Z 63%, Gen Y 65%) and younger shoppers also use their mobile devices to shop the sales more (Gen Z 33%) than they use their laptops or desktops (Gen Z 29%).

Boxing Day and End of Financial Year (EOFY) are the most popular times to shop online for bargains, aligning digital shopping with times famous for traditional in-store discounting. America’s Black Friday online sale has now also spilled into Australia to become one of the top three most popular times to get clicking.

“As the demand for online shopping experiences continues to rise, there appears to be a shift in the sales Aussies look forward to the most.

“While Boxing Day and End of Financial Year sales are still favourites, we’ve become conditioned to regular discounts and we now expect brands to offer online, and sometimes personalised discounts outside of traditional sales periods, such as birthday discounts or vouchers. As a nation we love sale shopping and as more retail has moved online we’ve adapted to embrace digital as well as traditional sales,” concluded Ms. Grant.

For more information, the PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report 2019 is available for download here.

+Free Return Shipping is available on eligible items only. Conditions apply.

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About the PayPal mCommerce Index

The PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report 2019 surveys the payment patterns and expectations of Australian smartphone users and provides insights into the mobile commerce landscape. The research was commissioned by PayPal Australia Pty Limited (ABN 93 111 195 389 AFSL 304962) and was conducted by ACA Research (ABN 66 001 598 558) between Friday 29 March and Friday 12 April 2019.

Respondents completed an online self-completion survey, with a total of 1,018 consumers and 485 businesses taking part in the research. Sample was sourced through consumer and business research panels, with participants incentivised for completing the survey. The research was carried out in compliance with the AMSRS Guidelines and the National Privacy Principles.

The research contains general observations about trends in mobile commerce, and does not take into account the objectives, situation or needs of any specific business or individual. Numbers may not add to 100% due to rounding.

Generational Ages as at 2019:  Gen Z (18-24 years); Gen Y (25-36 years); Gen X (37-51 years); Baby Boomer (52-66 years); Older Australians (67+ years)

For more information regarding sampling, please refer to the ‘Research Overview’ in the Report available here.

About PayPal

Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo, Xoom and iZettle, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/about. For PayPal Holdings, Inc. financial information, visit https://investor.paypal-corp.com.

About PayPal Australia                 

PayPal has been operating in Australia since 2005 and has more than 7 million active customer accounts. PayPal enables Australian businesses to transact online and offline, from sole proprietors and developers to established large merchants. The PayPal service is provided by PayPal Australia Pty Limited (ABN 93 111 195 389) which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence number 304962. Visit www.paypal-media.com/au for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and our PayPal-Forward blog.

Press Contact

To contact PayPal Australia media team, please email paypal@edelman.com

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