Australian consumers are more willing to participate in sales events than before Covid-19, with 71% of people more likely to purchase goods from events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales, according to new research by Manhattan Associates.

Boxing Day sales remain the most popular sales event in the country, followed by Black Friday with 42% and 37% of respondents reporting they take part respectively.

Research showed that most shoppers will now participate in a sales event online. Almost three quarters of shoppers say that they shop more online now compared to before Covid-19 and a large portion of people indicated that they rarely shop in-store at all now (41%).

“Shopping habits in Australia have significantly changed following COVID-19. Consumers are increasingly comfortable making purchases online and direct human interaction is less of a priority when making a purchase compared with flexibility. Retailers are challenged to meet customer demands in this new environment given the disruption to the traditional model of in-store purchasing,” Manhattan Associates managing director, Raghav Sibal said.

Highlighting the financial impact caused by the pandemic, shoppers said that they were looking to purchase from a sales event because they are looking for a bargain (38%) or because they have less money to spend on essential goods (32%).

While major sales events were becoming increasingly popular with local shoppers, these activities are not universally viewed as being a positive, with 28% of survey respondents described their shopping experience during major sales events as stressful. A further 56% of survey respondents saying that they had waited to purchase a product during a major sale only to find it was out of stock.

“With global supply chain issues and more shopper interest in sales events than ever before, retailers must take control of their inventory and ensure they have the right stock on hand to meet buyer demand,” Sibal said.

“Retailers need real time visibility that provides a trusted window into all stock, whether it’s in the warehouse, in-store or being transported. By knowing exactly what goods they have and where, retailers can better plan for future sales or surges in demand to take advantage of increased shopper activity and create a positive customer experience.”