Research commissioned by MyState Bank found two-thirds of Australians have upped their use of online shopping during the pandemic this year, and as a result, could be spending hundreds extra on things they don't need.

More than a third of Australians (36%) believe they spend more money shopping online compared with shopping in physical stores.

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money

    Saver Account (<$250k)

    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money
    4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

    Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
    05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Maximum Age - 24

    Goal Saver

    • Maximum Age - 24
    02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    No monthly fees
    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    No monthly fees

    Save Account

    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings

    Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    For customers aged 14-35 years
    For customers aged 14-35 years

    Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

      Boost Saver

        Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

        All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of April 14, 2024. View disclaimer.

        MyState Bank General Manager, Customer Experience, Heather McGovern said many Australians are burning a hole in their pocket with poor online shopping behaviours.

        "We calculated costly habits – from using online shopping as an escape from stress or boredom to keeping an item not fit for them to use – are costing online shoppers an average of $424 each year," Ms McGovern said.

        “While many Australians enjoy the conveniences of online shopping, the danger is that there aren’t many barriers to spending money. Compared to shopping in a store, consumers don’t have to put as much effort or thought into adding things to their cart.”

        According to MyState's research, buying extra to avoid free shipping was the biggest reason for overpaying, with 48% of the 1,000 respondents admitting to it.

        Failing to seek a refund for unsuitable items was the second biggest reason, and shopping online as a pastime when bored or stressed were habits admitted to by 24% and 23% of online shoppers respectively.

        Other costly behaviours were buying unnecessary items just because they were on sale (21%) and storing credit card details for easier purchases (17%). 

        [See also: How to control your online shopping during isolation]

        Black Friday doesn't see a surge in online bargain hunters

        This year's Black Friday sales were predicted to be the biggest ever by the National Retailers Association (NRA), with a 53% increase from 2019's final figures expected. 

        Despite the official data yet to come out, early data from personal finance app Pocketbook shows online sales actually fell almost 30% this year, defying expectations. 

        Department store spending looks to have fallen 20%. 

        Much of this decline could be down to Australians taking a more cautious approach to this year's Christmas spending: Accenture research found 9 in 10 Australians planned to spend the same or less than last year to preserve household budgets. 

        And yet MyState data indicates a continued swing towards online spending, meaning perhaps this Christmas period will be a bit of a pandemic-driven anomaly. 

        MyState found 44% of online shoppers are now purchasing items previously bought in-store before the pandemic, like groceries and clothing.

        “More Australians are embracing online shopping than ever before, with 65% of people increasing online shopping habits since March. And for those of us that were already shopping online before the pandemic, we’re now doing it more often and for a wider range of purchases," Ms McGovern said.

        “The shift to online shopping over the last decade has been slowly embraced by most Australians, but the pandemic has put this trend into hyper speed – and there’s no going back.

        “For this reason, we believe it is important that financial institutions support Australian consumers to navigate this new world with increased confidence."

        MyState also provided five top tips for shopping smartly online:

        1. Buy more, but less often. 
        2. Abandon the cart for a day or two, and come back to it. 
        3. Delete pre-saved card details to curb impulse purchases. 
        4. Create separate email accounts for promotional purchases. 
        5. Use e-coupons and compare prices with similar sites. 

        Photo by Ga on Unsplash