PayPal data reveals millennials make calculated purchases but impulsive with sales

New research from PayPal shows Australia’s younger shoppers, particularly millennials, take a strategic approach to shopping, but are more likely to make impulsive purchases during sales than older shoppers.   

The survey shows that almost two-thirds of Gen Z, more than half of millennials, and 46 percent of Australians generally say they have waited until the desired item went on sale before buying online. Millennials are also the most likely to have bought an item at full price, returned it, and purchased it at a lower price when it went on sale. 

The survey comes just as PayPal announced the launch of its first credit card in Australia - the PayPal Rewards Card. The card which will be launched in July will have zero annual fees and uncapped rewards points and allows consumers to earn points with every eligible purchase and redeem them at more than 750,000 PayPal businesses globally, including 300,000 business in Australia. 

The data revealed that millennial shoppers can also be reluctant to spend outside of sales season. Around 27 percent said they only shop when items are on sale or discounted.  

That said 50 percent of all consumers like a bargain reporting that they “hate buying at full price”. Even while shopping in-store, 40 percent of respondents research online prices on their mobiles, to ensure they are nabbing the best deal for their money. 

A solid 21 percent of interviewees confessed to sales-related fear of missing out, saying they feel like they are “losing money” if they don’t buy an item on sale. Roughly the same percentage of millennials admit to being “addicted” to shopping the sales. 

Fear of missing out 

PayPal found that millennials also stand out as the nation’s biggest impulse purchasers. The average millennial shopper rang up 3.4 unplanned items for $197 in the last three months, which is about 60 percent more purchases and $87 more than the average Aussie shopper. 

Millennials are also an adventurous generation with their shopping, with 27 percent having bought new brands they wouldn’t usually buy because these were on sale, compared to 22 percent of all Australians. 

More than a third of millennial shoppers admitted to feeling regret after making a sales-driven purchase. Additionally, 37 percent reported they had bought an item they didn’t need because it was on sale. The national average was 24 percent and 26 percent respectively. 

Nearly a third of Australians believe there are more sales now than two years before, with about a quarter attributing this to the economic impact of the pandemic. 

The majority of those surveyed said they prefer to shop the sales online. This preference to shop online is significantly higher for younger shoppers, with 70 percent of millennials opting for online sale shopping.  

 

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