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10th December, 2019

Survey: Consumers are turning to local, bricks and mortar retail this Christmas

MYOB data reveals the majority of Australian shoppers want to support local, bricks and mortar retail outlets over international brands and online sales this holiday period.

It’s called ‘solidarity spending’ and it couldn’t be more timely.

As farmers and regional communities continue to do it tough as a result of drought and bushfires, Australians are hoping a change in shopping habits might help.

That’s because nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Aussies say campaigns such as the drought relief effort mounted by local business encourages them to shop Australian.

The same percentage have also said they intend on shopping in person at bricks and mortar retail outlets, bucking the trend of the past decade or so that has seen many consumers turn to online shopping.

In fact, 91 percent of surveyed Aussie consumers told MYOB they prefer to shop local and 44 percent said they try to avoid shopping overseas entirely.

Other survey result highlights:

  • 69% of respondents said Australian-made was an important deciding factor when shopping
  • 61% said they’d pay more for Australian-made products or services
  • Only 1% said they’d buy from an overseas business this year

Festive shopping: Has heading to the shops become tradition?


MYOB’s general manager of marketing and sales, Natalie Feehan, said these findings spoke to the nature of Australians as conscious consumers.

“2019 has been a year of widespread drought, raging bushfires and severe flooding and all have had tremendous impact on local business, which we’ve seen play out very publicly in the media,” said Feehan.

“Australians support one another in tough times.

“Shopping local this Christmas is another way we as a community can give Aussies a fair go.”

READ: Will your staff receive a Christmas bonus this year?

It may also indicate something unique about Australian festive shopping behaviours, Feehan reasoned.

“The findings also speak volumes about the way we shop.

“Getting people in-store has been an ongoing battle for independent businesses, and yet, these findings suggest Australian consumers prefer to tackle Christmas shopping in person.”

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) said he wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“MYOB’s research confirms that Australians continue to understand the importance of supporting local businesses at peak shopping periods,” said Strong.

“We know that a small business will survive or perish based on the level of customer service they provide, and as a result, Australians count on and trust their local small businesses the most.

“The fact that most Aussies report campaigns such as the drought relief effort will encourage them to buy Australian-made this Christmas demonstrates a deeper understanding of the impact natural disasters have on small businesses and the local people they employ.”


How Aussies pay for Christmas


The survey also investigated the ways Aussie shoppers plan on paying for their festive cheer, with the top three methods being debit card (36 percent), credit card (32 percent) and cash (18 percent).

While only six percent of respondents said they were planning on dipping into their savings for Christmas shopping, this may reflect a general trend towards lower household spending as a way to protect savings.

Only a small portion said they planned on using services like AfterPay (two percent) or layby and personal loans (one percent) as a method of financing holiday spending.

Feehan concluded retailers who offer payment and purchase options for their customers will be most likely to win share of the consumer pocket this Christmas.

“The data shows most Australians will be paying with a card this year, so retailers – particularly independent ones – need to make sure they can tackle demand by offering a variety of payment options, especially online.

“If this is the summer of local shopping, independent Aussie business is in fine shape to sweep up, if they keep the consumer in mind.”

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