To help you and your helpers gear up for the Christmas spending frenzy, we asked shopping expert Katie Paterson from money saving platform Flipit, for her top reasons for hunting down your Christmas gifts online.
December 7 was just named the ‘busiest online shopping day in Australian history’, as online sales were up as much as 23% on last year. But why are Australia’s shoppers choosing to purchase their gifts online this Christmas more than ever before? We considered a few recent events that may be influencing these figures by encouraging Aussie shoppers to turn to the screen rather than brick-and-mortar stores for their festive purchases.
Online stores are innovating for convenience – as many retailers know that consumers are deterred from shopping online at Christmas due to factors such as possible delays in delivery during the Christmas rush, and the difficulty of processing returns, stores are working hard to come up with new ways to overcome this obstacle. This year, eBay set up a pop-up physical store in Sydney to accommodate a ‘click & collect’ service which would avoid delivery delays, and many stores are now also permitting in-store returns on products that have been purchased online.
The launch of ShopMate – Australia Post has just launched a new ShopMate delivery service, which allows Australian shoppers to buy from US webstores that don’t have the means or infrastructure to be able to facilitate international shipping. Sign up to ShopMate and you’ll receive a US address to enter at checkout for delivery, and you’ll be notified when your purchase is ready to be collected from an Australia Post depot.
Shop GST-free while you still can – With discussions regarding the proposed lowering of the GST threshold increasing in circulation, it looks likely that changes will be imposed in the very near future. Might as well make the most of GST-free international shopping this year – it might be the last Christmas we’ll have it!
Weak Australian dollar – With the Australian dollar edging towards a new four-year low, Christmas 2014 is looking like it will be the year of the discount. Shopping online is always the cheapest option, and you can take advantage of the huge amount of coupon codes and special deals that are available online in the run up to Christmas to help your dollar stretch further.
With these factors in mind, it’s no wonder Aussie shoppers are going online to find gifts this year – partnered with the fact that you can avoid the Christmas rush and do all of your shopping from the comfort of the couch!