After a year of interest rate bumps and the rising cost of living, Australian consumers are still holding on to treating themselves and plan to spend consciously, motivated by deals, for the holiday season, a new survey released by LTK, the pioneer of creator commerce, has shown.

More than 44% of Australians are spending more than $400 a month on non-essential items. When it comes to what consumers are spending on, activities for a quick dopamine boost are at the top of the list. For example, dining out (59%), fashion (42%), drinking (39%), beauty (33%) and travel (33%).  

Dopamine shopping doesn’t need to be expensive with more than 72% of Australians confirming that they would get as much joy out of purchasing a cheaper purchase, as they would from a more expensive and elaborate purchase.  

While the cost of living continues to skyrocket in Australia, more than one-third have not changed spending habits when it comes to non-essential items compared to 12 months ago.

“While we know we’re feeling the pinch when it comes to the rising cost of living pressures, we still have a desire to make our budgets work to accommodate non-essential items that fill our cup,” LTK managing director for Australia, Rey Vakili said.

“We know that a lot of Australians can also be overwhelmed in a traditional retail setting so leaning into content creators, who have done the hard work for us, is a nice way to manage your spendings when it comes to Dopamine Shopping – you can choose to follow people whose style you like and then build a budget with those treaties in mind.” 

More than 58% of Australians have stopped spending on luxury items for now, however almost one in 10 (17%) are happy to spend on luxury items if it means it is part of their pursuit for a capsule wardrobe. Gen Z (24%) and Millennials (20%) are much more likely than boomers (8%) to invest in luxury items if it means a capsule wardrobe.  

When it comes to non-essential items, 69% of Australians will purchase, more often than not, when there is a deal or discount. 

“I love that Australians are consciously spending and looking to invest in items that can last forever.  When it comes to investing in luxury, forever items, it’s always best to lean into the experts who have done the research on your behalf and can recommend splurge items that will last the distance and are worth the investment,” Vakili said.

Nearly one in four (23%) have confirmed that they’re spending more on beauty in the last 12 months. For younger Australians this is particularly relevant with one in three (33%) Gen Z Australians prioritising beauty spending and 27% of millennials compared to just 10% of older Australians (boomers). 

“We obviously saw beauty sales in Australia surge during the pandemic but it’s interesting to see that our love of beauty has continued to thrive, especially for younger Australians. Beauty is one of those investments that can be rewarding – it’s personal, it’s fulfilling and it can often not break the budget,” Vakili said.

The real power of influence has been revealed with 6.6 million Australians confirming that now more than ever they are influenced by social media and content creators when it comes to non-essential shopping items for themselves. Nine million Australians confirmed that they rarely shop in an actual store for non-essential items like fashion, beauty and homewares for themselves or someone else, due to online shopping being so much easier.  

“We know Australians want options and guidance when it comes to how they shop. Sometimes traditional retail settings don’t provide that holistic guidance. Content creators have never been more influential and helpful for us – we get to choose individuals whose style we resonate with and lean into their advice and guidance every step of the way – be it small purchases, or bigger ones that are more thought out,” Vakili concluded.