Commonwealth Bank has today released new research revealing how Aussies plan to shop the Boxing Day sales this year, with the majority (69 per cent) planning to bag a bargain or two.

As a nation of savvy shoppers, 40 per cent of those looking to take part in the sales have already predicted how much they’ll be spending – with the average spend expected to be $557. This is up 14 per cent from what people say they spent a year ago ($487).

Overall, Australians expect to spend a whopping $4 billion at retailers across the country in this year’s Boxing Day sales1, with the main driver of shopping during Boxing Day sales being not wanting to pay full price.

CBA’s Executive General Manager, Everyday Banking, Kate Crous said: “As the nation bounces back, Australians are embracing shopping and are excited to hit the sales. This is welcome news for retailers, who are keen to see consumers return after a tough few months, and is also great for consumers hoping to get good value from their shopping.”

Payment trends

CommBank credit and debit card data shows that this year CBA customers are likely to spend 22 per cent more in December relative to the average of all other months in the year, based on previous Christmas spend trends2.

Additionally, CBA debit card spend in December this year is likely to increase by 23 per cent relative to the average across other months, while credit card spend is expected to grow 18 percent for the month relative to average of other months.

Shoppers embrace the in-store experience

Despite the rise in online shopping, the CBA research shows nearly half of Australians plan to shop the Boxing Day sales in-store (41 per cent). A further 28 per cent plan on shopping both in-store and online.

Men are more likely to be heading in-store this Boxing Day (46 per cent of males vs 35 per cent of females).

When asked why consumers are opting to go in-store, respondents said they’re after both the in-store experience (46 per cent) and looking for inspiration and ideas (43 per cent). Conversely, the main motivations for planning to shop online are convenience (60 per cent), avoiding queues (54 per cent) and avoiding traffic (43 per cent).

According to historic CommBank credit and debit card data2, around 70 per cent of every dollar spent during December is expected to be in–store, compared to online.

Shop smart during the sales

Ms Crous said: “There are lots of additional ways to shop smart, including using the CommBank app to find great shopping offers. Whether that’s cashback via our CommBank Rewards program or our Cheddar partner, or deals on what you might be looking for through our partnership with Little Birdie – check your banking app for what might be available."

According to the CBA research, men are looking to spend more on average than women ($646 vs $459), while parents also hope to make the most out of the sales ($731 on average, for those with one or two children).

Aussies planning a wardrobe refresh

After months spent wearing track pants and exercise gear at home, Australians may soon be stepping out in something new, with clothing, apparel and shoes predicted to be the top purchase category (57 per cent) during the sales. Younger females (18 to 29 years) are expected to be the biggest spenders in this category.

Technology (36 per cent), home electricals and white goods (31 per cent), and homeware and furniture (29 per cent) are the next most popular purchase categories, with males aged 30 to 39 years most likely to be updating their tech.

CommBank’s tips for spending smarter this Boxing Day sales

1.     Make a list and check it twice – Make a list of the items you would like to purchase on sale. And set a budget for how much you can afford to spend.

2.     Set a savings goal – cut down on unnecessary spending and set a savings goal to meet ahead of the sales. This will ensure you’re set up for success on the day – and can enjoy shopping. Features like CommBank’s Goal Tracker can help you stay on track.

3.     Get value from shopping – don’t succumb to post purchase regret. Whether you’re after airpods or air fryers, check out the latest shopping offers before you shop including from CommBank Rewards, Little Birdie and the Cheddar app.

4.     Track your spending – in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away, so use a feature like CommBank’s Spend Tracker to stay on top of your spending.

5.     Pay in instalments – if you can’t pay all upfront, consider spreading the cost through instalments with CommBank’s StepPay.

Notes to editors

Fieldwork was conducted by House of Brand Group between 1st December – 8th December 2021, amongst a sample of n=1,005 nationally representative respondents with quotas set on age, gender and location.

1 Average extrapolated to represent 18,205,855 adults aged 18-74 years of age, ABS Population June 2020

Based on aggregated debit and credit card spend growth by CBA customers on Mastercard branded products between January to November 2021, and historic uplift in spending in December 2020 compared to average spending from January to November 2020