The most popular items Aussies will be shopping for this Christmas have been revealed by Australia Post. Picture: Supplied
The most popular items Aussies will be shopping for this Christmas have been revealed by Australia Post. Picture: Supplied

Aussie Christmas shopping shake-up

Exclusive: Aussies will be spending megabucks shopping online in the lead up to Christmas, with bricks and mortar retailers likely to feel the sting.

Australia Post research released exclusively to News Corp Australia shows a significant shift in our Christmas shopping habits compared to just one year ago.

Rather than pounding the pavement, consumers are expected to give their fingers a serious workout with the survey of 2000 Australia Post customers revealing 30 per cent more goods are expected to be purchased online.

Australia Post is set to be in overdrive in the lead up to Christmas, with online orders expected to be up 30 per cent on last year. Picture: Keryn Stevens
Australia Post is set to be in overdrive in the lead up to Christmas, with online orders expected to be up 30 per cent on last year. Picture: Keryn Stevens

In a further blow to traditional stores, 66 per cent of respondents said they wanted to ditch the Christmas crowds, while 53 per cent wanted the power to shop where they want.

Australians would spend an average of $200 on internet-purchased gifts, according to the research, about $1.88 billion in total if you account for everyone in the country over the age of 18.

But the convenience comes at a cost, cybersecurity firm Sophos' General Manager Ashley Wearne said, who added scammers will be in overdrive as consumers ready their bank cards.

"Starting from about now, it's like blood in the water for them," Mr Wearne said.

He explained it was the busiest time of year for the cyber criminals, who would be working hard in their attempts to pinch the bank card details of unsuspecting shoppers.

Sophos General Manager Ashley Wearne said online shoppers should be wary of fake emails. Picture: Supplied
Sophos General Manager Ashley Wearne said online shoppers should be wary of fake emails. Picture: Supplied

As December 25 draws near, Mr Wearne said customers needed to be careful where they click.

"Never click on a link in an email; go directly to the website. And when you're there, make sure the site is secure, with the URL beginning with 'https' and showing a padlock," he said.

He said to be on the lookout for fake Australia Post correspondence, explaining they would often falsely claim to have a parcel waiting for a shopper, before asking for credit card details to verify their identity.

And when it comes to shopping on Facebook, he said to stay away.

"Sometimes scammers will hide a code, and when you click through on the link from Facebook, it can work to steal your card number.

"It's always safest to type in the web address yourself."

Christmas cash is like “blood in the water” for scammers. Picture: iStock
Christmas cash is like “blood in the water” for scammers. Picture: iStock

The nation's postal company said they'd be employing 3000 extra people to ensure packages were beneath Christmas trees before the big day.

But shopping guru Kathy Sheeran said Aussies should have their online orders sorted by December 17 to avoid disappointment, adding some parcels would instead be delivered by courier companies.

"And pay for express postage where you can," she said.

The research showed toys and games would be the most popular category among online spenders, followed by fashion and jewellery.

Ms Sheeran, who heads up Shopping Confessions, encouraged consumers to buy these items online but warned against homewares and appliances, which are set to be the third most popular items.

"The only thing I wouldn't buy is electrical appliances overseas. If there are issues with the product, or warranty, it can be difficult to resolve. You should buy these from a local retailer," she said.

The Australia Post survey revealed toys and games are expected to be the most popular Christmas item purchased via the web. Picture: Supplied
The Australia Post survey revealed toys and games are expected to be the most popular Christmas item purchased via the web. Picture: Supplied

She said to always check shipping and return details, with some online stores offering credit rather than a refund, which was prevalent particularly among fashion e-retailers.

And for those wanting to avoid a Christmas cash blowout, Ms Sheeran said planning was crucial.

"Be organised. I've even set up an Excel spreadsheet to track what I'm buying for who," she said.

"Make sure to check where your credit card is in its interest-free period. And watch out for sites like Afterpay. They can be useful, but if you can't afford the repayments, it'll cost you."

Australia Post Group Chief Operation Officer Bob Black said the research showed we loved spoiling others before ourselves.

"Almost 45 per cent of Australians shop for children first, followed by their partner (35 per cent). Mum has the edge over dad, with 22 per cent of Australians buying for her first, compared to dad at 14 per cent. Then about 44 per cent of us, treat ourselves last."



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