No matter what amendments are made to the GST exemption levels, it won’t stop Australians shopping overseas, according new research by MasterCard.

The research, which was conducted online by Galaxy Research, showed while 79 per cent of Australians oppose reductions to exemption levels, it won’t have much of an effect on their shopping habits. Specifically, among frequent online shoppers surveyed, 38 per cent said a change would have no impact on their behaviour, while a further 24 per cent say the move would only cause them to buy online less often.

MasterCard Australia’s vice president strategy and corporate affairs David Masters said the study shows price isn’t the only motivating factor driving people to shop with overseas online retailers.

“Australians are right at the forefront of the modern retail experience where online shopping has become the norm. For many, the comparative benefits are too good to pass up,” he said.

“86 per cent of the people we surveyed said price was important, but there’s no question that Australians are hard wired to want to shop locally.

“The challenge for Australian retailers is to deliver where overseas retailers cannot – service, delivering a personal approach – and there are so many local retailers who get that absolutely right. “

While the federal government indicated they do not intend to lower the tax-free threshold in the short term, the MasterCard study illustrates any changes won’t slow the Australians’ desire to look for lower price tags, given that two out of every three surveyed shop online at least once a month.