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The online shopping habits costing you hundreds

  • December 08 2020
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The online shopping habits costing you hundreds

By Cameron Micallef
December 08 2020

Poor online shopping habits, including buying more to reach “free shipping limits”, failing to return purchases that are unsuitable and shopping online to kill boredom, are seeing Aussies spend an additional $400 a year online, new research has revealed.

The online shopping habits costing you hundreds

The online shopping habits costing you hundreds

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  • December 08 2020
  • Share

Poor online shopping habits, including buying more to reach “free shipping limits”, failing to return purchases that are unsuitable and shopping online to kill boredom, are seeing Aussies spend an additional $400 a year online, new research has revealed.

The online shopping habits costing you hundreds

Survey data of 1,000 Australians commissioned by MyState Bank showed that online shopping isn’t translating into lower costs, with many Aussies making unnecessary purchases that are draining their finances. 

Commenting on the research, MyState Bank general manager, customer experience, Heather McGovern said, “With the online sales season in full swing, our research uncovered Australians are engaging in online shopping habits which are likely burning a hole in their pockets. We calculated [bad online shopping] habits are costing online shoppers an average of $424 each year.”

The research found the Australians’ most costly buying habit is purchasing additional items to receive free shipping, with nearly one in two admitting to it.

“While many Australians enjoy the conveniences of online shopping, the danger is that there aren’t many barriers to spending money. Compared to shopping in a store, consumers don’t have to put as much effort or thought into adding things to their cart.”

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Other costly shopping habits among online shoppers highlighted by the MyState Bank survey were buying unnecessary items simply because they were on sale (21 per cent) and storing credit card details in their favourite retailer’s websites to enable easy future purchases (17 per cent).

As Australia heads into the festive season, MyState Bank research found consumers have responded to the pandemic by embracing online shopping in greater numbers. 

The survey found around two-thirds of Australians have increased the time they spend shopping online since the start of the pandemic.

Ms McGovern said, “Health concerns, travel restrictions and the closure of many stores during the height of the pandemic have accelerated a trend that was already underway in Australia – the shift to shopping online.

“Our new research reveals how dramatically shopping habits have evolved over the past several months, with many of these behavioural changes likely to permanently reshape the way Australians shop in the future.”

MyState Bank’s top five tips to survive the online sales season and shop online smartly:

  1. Buy more, just less often. Shipping fees can be steep for some retailers; however, shoppers can minimise or entirely evade these fees by buying more items, less often. Use bookmarks to save the items for any items you like and wait until you have two or three other items from that same site bookmarked before you buy.
  2. Abandon your shopping cart for a day or two. Retailers create a sense of urgency intended to convince you to buy something you really don’t need, or at least, don’t need right this very moment. Resist the urge by leaving your items in your shopping cart for a day or two and see if the desire to purchase the items is still there when you return.
  3. Delete pre-saved details from the retailer’s website. While it can be a convenient way to speed through the checkout, having your details pre-saved can be a sure way of fostering online impulse purchases.
  4. Create a separate email account for promotional materials. It can be difficult to resist buying things you don’t need when your inbox is constantly flooded with flash sales and specials. Consider creating a separate email account just for emails from online stores to help you easily locate order confirmations, tracking information and other important info related to your online purchases when you need to.
  5. Use e-coupons and compare prices. A major advantage with online shopping is that it allows easy comparison of prices between sites for the same or similar items. Coupon codes that might not be available (or easy to find) in stores is another savvy strategy to help you save on your online order.
The online shopping habits costing you hundreds
The online shopping habits costing you hundreds
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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