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‘Social shopping’ costing Aussies $16 billion a year

Published on 02/10/2019

ING research lifts curtain on the nation’s social media shopping habit

Research commissioned by ING reveals a new era of ‘social shopping’ is burning a hole in Aussie pockets, with the national bill totalling more than $16 billion a year.

‘Swipe to shop’, ‘click and collect’ and pay later services on social media have made shopping easier and more impulsive than ever, with over a third of Australians (34%) admitting this has led to purchases they wouldn’t otherwise have made.

On average Aussies are spending $860 annually, with 3.2 million people admitting they buy something they see on their feed at least once a fortnight. Evidently targeted shopping opportunities are hard to ignore, with one in five (20%) also admitting they consider buying something on social media every time they scroll through their feed.

Facebook has taken the crown (22%) as the most popular social shopping platform ahead of Instagram (9%), YouTube (9%), Snapchat (4%) and Pinterest (4%).

The ING research also revealed:

  • More than half of all Australians (55%) have either bought on social media or been influenced by social to buy something later.
  • Over half (53%) of Millennials say they shop more on social media now than they did two years ago, compared to Gen X (42%) and Baby Boomers (28%).
  • Over a third of Aussie social shoppers (34%) are more likely to impulse buy due to social media and admit they would spend less (32%) if they didn’t see things they wanted in their feeds.
  • On Instagram the majority of purchases have been made to stock up wardrobes (44%), book restaurants (30%) and buy beauty / healthcare products (28%).
  • 36% agree that social media buying opportunities are very targeted to their interests.
  • The daily commute is presenting a new shopping opportunity, with 35% of Millennials enjoying shopping via their social media feeds while commuting.

Melanie Evans, ING Head of Retail, said: “Online shopping is undoubtedly very convenient and the recent emergence of shopping via social media has made it easier than ever to get what we want, but it’s also easy to unintentionally overspend.

“It’s a good idea to be aware of the highly targeted advertising often employed by social media platforms, which can increase temptation to buy things we otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

“If you are focused on saving, try and avoid those impulse purchases and the buyer’s remorse that can come with them. Spontaneous dips into our hard-earned savings all add up.

“Our research found that nearly a quarter of those who shop via social media do not have a spending account separate from their savings account, and a similar number also admit to not keeping track of their online spending, but there are tools people can use to avoid overspending.

“And don’t forget that social spending is often borderless. Don’t get hit with unnecessary fees – accounts with no international transaction fees are an option for those regularly purchasing from international retailers,” said Ms. Evans.

For tips and ideas on how to be a smart shopper and manage your spending visit,



Notes to editors

This survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by YouGov in September 2019. The sample comprises 1,084 Australians aged 18+ years distributed throughout Australia.

For more information contact Deanna Rose on 0413 317 225 or

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ING changed the way Australians bank 20 years ago by launching the country’s first high interest, fee free online savings account. Since then, we’ve brought continued value to customers with home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending and insurance.

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