Almost nine in 10 Australians (87%) are planning to rely on promotional deals and discounts over the next 12 months as over three-quarters (78%) aim to limit their spending amid the rising cost of living, according to new research from leading tech company in Drive to Store, ShopFully.  

The new data shows over half of Australians (53%) do not expect their purchasing power to improve in 2024, with many planning to limit their spending across food and beverages (34%), beauty (46%), clothing (50%), electronics (49%) and home furniture (52%).

While consumers are planning to tighten their purse strings in general, the survey reveals Australians are planning to spend more strategically, with big purchases planned around big sales moments like Black Friday (30%). Over half flagged they will be on the lookout for promotions all year long (57%).

“Our recent research peaks have been consistent in uncovering the concerns of the Australian consumer around the cost of living crisis the country finds itself gripped by,” ShopFully country manager, Brendan Straw said.

“It is encouraging to see 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.”

In 2024, less than one in 10 consumers are not taking the sustainability of products seriously, with only 9% in both Australia and Europe flagging they do not consider it to be important how environmentally friendly a product is when spending. In fact, over half (53%) of Australians would pay more for a product that was sustainable or ethically made.

When asked what drives Australians to try new brands, attractive prices or discounts was the top choice at 65%, while 85% are well attuned to researching products online before they buy in store.

The survey also uncovered that Australians are not adopting AI as a mechanism to help them shop, with just 5% having ever used a smart speaker or other AI tool to help them make purchases.

“While there are many commonalities between Australia and Europe in how best to research products and a serious concern for our environment, it is interesting that consumers differ on what they value when it comes to brand loyalty,” Straw added.

“It’s somewhat unsurprising that a low percentage of Australian consumers have used AI when making purchases, but we expect the technology 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.”