Three in five (60%) Australians are likely to decrease personal spending in 2024, with even more shoppers (76%) expecting to increase spending on living essentials such as food and groceries, according to new research from leading global tech company in drive to store, ShopFully.

The ShopFully research has revealed insights into shifting spending behaviours and how financials will be prioritised in the year ahead.

Over half (59%) of consumers spent less than $500 in total on Christmas gifts, with one-third (32%) spending between just $101-250. Close to three-quarters (73%) of respondents say they did not participate in the Boxing Day sales.

Financially, 62% of respondents believe 2024 will be a worse year for them than the previous year. Compared to 2023, in 2024, 70.5% of respondents revealed their budget will increase for household essentials, such as rent, mortgage, bills, and 76% reveal their budget will increase for living essentials like food and groceries.

60% of respondents will decrease their budget for personal items such as entertainment and 54% of respondents will decrease their budget for discretionary spending. In an effort to save money this year, over half of respondents (60%) reveal they will look for offers and discounts.

ShopFully Australia country manager, Brendan Straw said, “Spending for Christmas is our first indicator for how shopping behaviour will appear in the year to follow. Our new research reveals over half (59%) of consumers didn’t spend more than $500 in total across all their Christmas gifts, with one-third (32%) spending as little as between $101 and $250, likely choosing to spend the money on more essential purchases following the rising cost of living.

“Research also shows a decrease in involvement in Boxing Day sales, one of the year’s biggest deal offerings, with a massive 73% of shoppers saying they did not participate in any of the sales. This indicates shoppers are looking for offers year-round, rather than waiting for specific events, such as Boxing Day; therefore, retailers initiating promotional campaigns throughout the year will have more success with customers.

“Yet, shoppers aren’t completely deterred. With many Australians experiencing some down time over the annual leave period, between Christmas and New Years, 66% of shoppers say their spending increases, specifically on household essentials, food and groceries.

“Consumers are also more motivated to shop in-store to make their purchases. Retailers should capitalise on this additional foot traffic, focusing on the in-store customer experience. Offering exclusive discounts or creating an immersive shopping experience could drive repeat buyers to your store.”