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PayPal Australia is encouraging consumers to ‘shop off the beaten path’ and discover gifts they didn’t know existed from more than 100 Australian small businesses this Christmas.

The campaign was inspired by the idea that Christmas shopping is not always a relaxed affair, with large crowds, time constraints and high expectations leading consumers to buy the same presents each year.

Through an online portal, the Shop off the Beaten Path campaign connects shoppers with merchants offering unique gifts they may otherwise not have found. Sellers include Odd Pears, which offers socks in mismatched pairs of three, and The Daily Edited, which personalises leather accessories.

“Many of us are time-poor at Christmas yet we still want to give unique and special gifts that our friends and family will love,” said PayPal Australia marketing director, Elaine Herlihy.

“This year we wanted to break the cycle of forgettable gifts by doing something we haven’t done before. We wanted to change how people searched for and found the perfect gift.”

To do this, PayPayl has combined its understanding of mobile purchasing habits with customer data to ensure Shop off the Beaten Path resonates with shoppers.

Retailer Byron Bay Gifts has joined the campaign and owner Zoe Gordon said she hopes it will drive customers to her Australian-made and designed products.

“We are really looking forward to expanding our customer base to a wider audience as part of this initiative,” she explained. “We [are] looking forward to introducing PayPal customers to a positive shopping experience that supports local businesses.”

During the Christmas season Byron Bay Gifts will also offer consumers the option to choose a gift and have it send directly to the recipient.

“The campaign combines two things we are deeply proud of—our local merchants and a frictionless online shopping experience,” added Herlihy. “By making it easier to find the perfect gift and promoting innovative Australian small businesses, we’re hoping Shop of the Beaten Path will mean this Christmas is even more memorable than the last.”