The large majority of Australian shoppers are addicted to sales but most retailers are falling short of shopper demand, new research from PayPal has revealed.

A whopping 68 per cent of Australian consumers are “always” on the lookout for an online sale or discount, according to a survey from PayPal.

The 2019 Trends Report, released on Tuesday, found that while most consumers are hungry for sales, just one in five retailers have at least one sale running.

The survey also found half of Australians waited until an item was on sale before buying it online, a figure which skyrocketed to 73 per cent for Gen Z and 65 per cent for Gen Y.

Sales directly correlate with impulse purchasing behaviours, the report found, with 58 per cent of Australians making an impulse purchase because something was on sale.

The report, which canvasses consumer behaviours, revealed a divide between shopper expectations and retailer’s services.

Peter Cowan, Director of Mid-Market, Small Business and Partners at PayPal Australia says the gap highlights an area of opportunity for retailers.

“This gap between consumers’ desire for finding a bargain and retailers sales activity highlights an opportunity that retailers can leverage to drive greater sales volumes and attract new customers,” he said.

“We found that over a third of Australians (37%) have bought a brand online they wouldn’t usually buy because it was on sale, which is huge for smaller retailers wanting to build brand awareness and win new customers.”

Shoppers prefer mobile

The research also revealed a correlation between mobile optimisation and sales, with 57 per cent of shoppers saying that they prefer shopping sales online rather than in-store.

Despite this preference, consumers shop half of their sales at physical retail stores.

Gen Z and Gen Y shop most of their sales online, at 63 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

“If you’re on sale – you’ve got to be online and mobile-optimised, particularly if you’re targeting youth markets, where the majority do their online sale shopping via mobile,” said Mr Cowan.

“Retailers should also think outside of the traditional sales periods and consider offering their customers personalised discounts throughout the year.”

The trends report also revealed growing interest in visual search and shoppable video, particularly among younger shoppers.

One in five consumers have used visual search while half of those yet to try it say they want to try it.

Meanwhile, one in six consumers have used shoppable video and nearly a third would like to use it.

Despite this growing interest in shoppable video and visual search, less than one in ten retailers have adopted visual search and shoppable video.

Australia’s Biggest Sales Periods

The survey also unveiled Australia’s biggest sales periods by consumer participation, with Boxing Day sales leading the way  and EOFY and Black Friday Sales closely following.

Boxing Day Sales 44%
End of Financial Year 44%
Black Friday 33%
Mid-Season Sales 33%
January Sales 21%
Click Frenzy 17%
Cyber Monday 17%
Back-to-School 11%
AfterYay 6%
Amazon Prime Day 6%