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CybersecurityIt’s no secret that Aussies love a bargain and new research from PayPal shows that 82% of Aussies plan to shop the online sales this year.1 With Christmas just around the corner, Aussies are hoping to take advantage of the biggest online shopping events of the year over Cyber Weekend on 24-27 November.

Almost half of Australians plan to shop the online sales on Black Friday (44%), with Early Bird Black Friday Sales (35%), and Cyber Monday (28%) also being popular.  Home-grown online sales event Click Frenzy also attracts clicks (17%) while the Boxing Day sales are in demand with 41% of Australians joining the traditional post-Christmas rush online.

Seizing the sales to save 

Amid the cost-of-living crisis, the top strategy Australians are using to keep Christmas costs in check is to shop online during the sales periods (38%) and half of Australians (49%) say you can still have a great holiday season if you spend wisely, leverage the online sales and shop sensibly. Just over a third of Aussies also plan to use coupons, cash back, points and loyalty vouchers (36%) this year.

Ditching the crowds for the couch

Saving dough isn’t the only reason people opt to let their fingers do the walking rather than their feet during sales season. Over half (53%) of Australians will be shopping online to avoid the “crazy crowds”, with 42% saying it’s faster and easier to shop the sales online. Further, 40% of Aussies say that it’s easier to compare prices and bag better deals when shopping the sales online. For more than a third (35%) they simply prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home.

Alison O’Brien, Consumer Shopping Expert at PayPal Australia says, “The popularity of online sales continues to soar and it’s easy to understand why. Online sales offer more choice, convenience, and the ability to quickly compare prices and nab the best deal. This year, our research is showing that people are consciously waiting for the online sales period as a strategy in response to cost-of-living pressures. However, as we all rush to find the perfect gifts at the lowest prices, people need to keep online safety top of mind whenever shopping online.”

Successful and Safe Online Sale Shopping

Three-quarters of Australians (74%) are more concerned about their online safety and security than they were 12 months ago. And almost 2-in-5 Aussies (37%) have abandoned purchases due to security concerns or because their preferred payment option wasn’t available.

While online shoppers are more aware than ever of the dangers, the stimulation and excitement of online sales periods could lead to lapses in attention from shoppers, making them more vulnerable to sophisticated scammers who will dial up the pressure with “limited time offer” messages, hoping that shoppers will panic and take a risk.

So, it’s also important to be vigilant at every step of the online shopping process to ensure you’re shopping on secure connections and from legitimate businesses to avoid being scammed while trying to snag a bargain.

PayPal recommends several strategies to ensure a successful and safe online shopping experience this sales season.

  1. Look for local deals: Avoid postal panic this Christmas and buy from your own backyard to avoid international delivery times. You can also feel good about supporting the Aussie economy.
  1. Check online reviews: If other shoppers have had negative experiences with a specific company, including fraud, they may have posted about it online to warn others.
  1. Do your research: While you can’t beat exhaustive manual online research, online tools such as PayPal Honey can help by quickly checking for any special offers you may otherwise have missed.
  1. Don’t count your savings till they’re shipped: There’s nothing like finding a big saving at the end of a serious web search, but always double check the shipping fee to make sure you’re comparing deals properly.
  1. Know your returns options: Give yourself a way out if the gift isn’t 100% right and shop with retailers that offer a reasonable returns policy.
  1. Look for the lock: When shopping online, check to make sure the site is secure by checking the web address begins with https:// and includes a padlock icon. This normally indicates that the site has some security features in place.
  1. Keep your financial details safe: By using a secure payment method like PayPal you can help protect your personal and financial information from potential fraud and give yourself the best odds that your transactions remain secure.
  1. Avoid public and unsecured wi-fi networks: Always use a trusted wi-fi network when you’re shopping online. Hackers can use unsecured wi-fi networks to tap into devices and steal information.

 Stay up to date on the latest scams targeting consumers at www.scamwatch.gov.au, or visit www.esafety.gov.au to learn about how you can better protect yourself online among other things.