Australian shoppers adapting spending habits to beat scams in cost of living crisis

Australians are growing smarter with how they shop online, with nearly half of the country changing their habits to avoid scams and get ahead of the cost of living crisis.

Forty-four per cent of Australians are making changes to spending habits in order to save their money, according to the latest Consumer Sentiment report from NAB Economics.

Some of these habits include taking the time to research products before purchasing them – with 23 per cent of Australians increasing the research they make into the items they buy.

Meanwhile, 36 per cent of Australians are purchasing from less expensive brands, focusing on the item rather than the prestige of product’s more popular named brand.

Shoppers are also narrowing the scope of where they buy. Consumers shopping on new websites, as well as trying new retailers, have both fallen by seven per cent, and trying new products in general has fallen by five per cent.

NAB Economics attributed this to Australians spending more time using their internet banking, as well as learning to be more aware of online scams that take their money without delivering on their products.

Personal Banking Executive Paul Riley said people are becoming “much better” at spotting the red flags of these scams, “whether it be a sale price that’s too good to be true, or a website not offering trusted online payment methods like PayPal”.

“People are understandably wary of trying new websites or products and are opting to go where they know, in an effort to reduce their risk of being scammed,” he said.

NAB Economics retrieved the data from a Consumer Sentiment survey at the end of 2023, which assessed over 2,000 Australians over the age of 18.

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