One in two Australians are relying on catalogues to cope with the rising cost-of-living, according to new research from ShopFully, the online platform that aggregates the information, offers, and services of local stores, and Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics.

The commissioned study into consumers’ path to purchase highlights shoppers are under financial pressure, with three in four (72%) reporting their day-to-day life and shopping behaviours have been badly impacted by the rising cost-of-living and current economic conditions. 

Almost four in five (77%) of those impacted are cutting-back on purchases that are non-essential to save money, signalling a mass change of mindset where Australians are becoming more practical in their spending.

With the food and non-alcoholic beverages category seeing the largest uptick in prices, second only to housing costs, 71% of consumers now opt for the cheapest option while grocery shopping, which includes generic branded or on-sale products, with a further 67% reporting they’ve stopped buying their favourite products altogether because of price hikes.

ShopFully Australia country manager, Brendan Straw said in response to the current economic landscape, Australian shoppers are increasingly apprehensive about where they put their money. 

“Nationwide, shoppers are adopting money-saving techniques, and trading brand loyalty in exchange for the best value. Australians have always loved a bargain, but now more than ever ensuring they’re cashing in on the best price is top of mind, especially when it comes to discretionary spending. In fact, two-thirds (66%) of consumers are putting off these types of purchases until the item they want is on sale, potentially waiting for major retail moments such as EOFY or Black Friday sales,” he explained.

“No more are Australians hitting stores on a whim, but rather are becoming more deliberate and strategic in their approach to saving, with the catalogue being top of the list as a hack to help the weekly budget. Moreover, two-thirds (66%) of those impacted by economic conditions told us they’re starting to plan their grocery shop in advance by browsing catalogues with the aim of capitalising on special offers.”

When deciding on purchases, three in four (75%) consumers are ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ using catalogues and of those, 64% are doing so to find the best promotions and deals. Amid the resurgence of the brick-and-mortar store, one in two Australian consumers are using catalogues as a top source of information when planning in-store shopping visits, with 66% of catalogue readers browsing digital catalogues at least once a week. 

“As shoppers continue to feel the cost-of-living pinch, the ‘budget-conscious shopper’ has become the everyday Australian. Consumers who approach spending with a tactical plan having done their research to compare prices can significantly reduce their weekly grocery shop, saving upwards of $50 to $100 a week,” Straw added.