Australians are conscious spenders who value convenience: PayPal report

Emma Duffy By on October 29, 2019

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Many Aussies are embracing sustainable spending and preferring to stay in and shop on their phones.

More than half (55%) of Aussies are ‘conscious consumers’ that make shopping decisions based on their values, according to a global report commissioned by PayPal.

The 2019 PayPal mCommerce Index, now in its fourth year, found that the wave of consumer consciousness is being driven by the young, with 66% of Australians between the ages of 18-35 making a values-based purchase decision in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, only 46% of Aussies over 50 were considered to be ‘conscious consumers’.

One in 10 (10%) Aussies had actually boycotted a brand because of their values – a figure that rises to around one in five (19%) among Gen Z consumers.

One in seven Aussies has purchased a product specifically because it was sustainably produced or environmentally friendly, which also jumps to one in five for Gen Z. Additionally, 10% of Aussies buy environmentally friendly products wherever possible, regardless of how much it costs.

One in 10 of us believes fast fashion (inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by big retailers in response to the latest trends) should have added levies to cover the environmental impact, while a quarter of Aussies under 35 believe companies should be banned from destroying unsold clothing.

Jess Rix, PayPal Australia’s Shopping Expert said the results show an emerging type of consumer who’s not buying whatever a brand tells them is ‘on trend’.

“There’s a new wave of consumer behaviour and it’s being driven by the young, Aussies are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to environmentally and socially sustainable products,” Ms Rix said.

“Every buying decision has the power to change the world and we’re beginning to see a shift as Australians are increasingly choosing brands that operate ethically and sustainably over those that don’t.”

Aussies embracing ‘JOMO’

It appears Aussies are embracing JOMO (the joy of missing out) and are preferring to stay in rather than go out.

In 2019, the purchase of concert and theatre tickets decreased by 21%, with flights and hotels also down 13%.

Instead, Aussies are opting for at-home subscription services like Stan (up 36%) and home delivery grocery services which increased by 32%.

The research also found that while Australian shoppers are becoming more conscious, our shopping behaviour is heavily based on convenience.

Almost 70% of Aussies prefer to shop on their phones while they’re at home relaxing, while two in five of us shop while watching TV, nearly 40% shop while in bed, and one in eight of us do our shopping while on the toilet.

“Convenience reigns supreme among consumers; we are choosing not to leave the comfort of our own homes, let alone our own sofas, to shop – and why would we when we’ve all got the equivalent of a limitless shopping centre sitting in the palm of our hands and only a click away,” Ms Rix said.

“Some people might think we’re a nation of lazy shoppers, but with our busy lifestyles, it’s more the case that we want to be able to buy the things we need whenever and wherever we want and have access to everything in one place.”

More than half (55%) of Aussie consumers also used their smartphones to make tap-n-go payments in-store. That figure rises to 80% for Gen Z shoppers.

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Emma Duffy
Emma Duffy joined as a Finance Journalist in 2019 after spending a year as the editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand.


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