Commonwealth Bank has today released new consumer research revealing 42 per cent of Australians plan to shop the Boxing Day sales this year, up from 39 per cent who said they shopped last year.

While more Australians are planning to shop the sales, many are planning to spend less than they did last year, with the average planned spend this year at $483.20, down from $501.60 in 2021. 

The research showed cost of living pressures remain top of mind for many savvy shoppers, with eight in ten (78 per cent) planning to shop the sales to purchase essentials when they are on sale.

CBA’s General Manager, Shopping, Rochelle Eldridge said: “It’s great to hear so many shoppers are using the sales to buy things already on their list that they are looking to purchase anyway. Hopefully the discounted prices will provide some relief to many Australians’ hip pockets to help them get items they need at a more affordable price.” 

The main reasons people intend to participate in Boxing Day sales this year include:

  • Wanting to save money on items I’ll need to purchase anyway (48 per cent)
  • I like the feeling of getting a good deal (46 per cent)
  • Delaying my normal purchases to buy when they are on sale due to the rising cost of living (40 per cent)

Top spend categories include fashion and clothing (47 per cent), followed by technology and electronics (38 per cent) and appliances (36 per cent). Only 13 per cent plan to shop for travel-related purchases.

When it comes to shopping online vs in store around seven in 10 (68 per cent) intend to shop online or via their mobile while 52 per cent plan to shop in store.

According to historic1 CommBank debit card data from December 2021, in-store transaction volumes represented 74 per cent, while online transaction volumes represented 26 per cent.

Ms Eldridge continues: “If you don’t know where to start, try checking your banking app. CommBank customers can access a range of personalised shopping offers and cashback in the CommBank app and can see new offers regularly. Whether you want AirPods or air fryers, we hope to give customers more value and help them to save when they spend.”

For those not choosing to shop the sales the top responses were:

  • Not sure I have enough money to shop this year (40 per cent)
  • Nothing I need or want to buy (35 per cent)
  • I can’t afford to due to the rising cost of living (28 per cent)

The focus on spending less on non-essential items during Boxing Day sales is also reflected in consumer attitudes for next year.  Of people’s planned 2023 financial goals, one of the top goals is to spend less on non-essential items, with one in two people prioritising this for next year.

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 – if you plan to shop, try to cut down on discretionary 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. Cost of living – to help offset the rising cost of living, visit the CommBank Cost of Living hub for more tools, tips and guidance.
  4. Get value from shopping – Check your banking app for ways to save. Check out the latest shopping offers before you shop including from CommBank RewardsLittle Birdie and the Cheddar app.
  5. 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.
  6. Pay in instalments – if you can’t pay all upfront, consider spreading the cost through instalments with CommBank’s StepPay.

Things you should know

Media releases are prepared without considering an individual reader’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Readers should consider the appropriateness to their circumstances. Visit Important Information to access Product Disclosure Statements or Terms and Conditions which are currently available electronically for products of the Commonwealth Bank Group, along with the relevant Financial Services Guide. Target Market Determinations are available here. Applications are subject to approval. Interest rates are correct at the time they are published and are subject to change. Fees, charges and eligibility criteria may apply

Average extrapolated to represent 18,152,860 adults aged 18-74 years of age, ABS Census Data 2021

Fieldwork was conducted by House of Brand Group between 3/11/2022 and 8/11/2022, amongst a sample of n=1,035 nationally representative respondents with quotas set on age, gender and location

1Based on CBA debit card spend including personal Mastercard debit and business Visa debit products across CBA and non-CBA merchants

Go to CBA Newsroom for the latest news and announcements from Commonwealth Bank.