After a year of at-home spending, Kiwis are looking to spend their lockdown savings on experiences over products this summer, but new research highlights the need to practice safer buying habits as we embrace these new freedoms.
According to the survey commissioned by Mastercard, the average Kiwi consumer surveyed has saved nearly $3,000 due to pandemic restrictions as many curbed their usual spending patterns and behaviours.
As we approach summer and lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the majority of Kiwis (65 percent) said they will shift away from their usual purchases to spend an additional $420 per month on average on experiences in a bid to make up for lost time and to reconnect with loved ones.
Top-ticket experiences on their lists include dining out at local restaurants and bars in groups of four or more (52 percent), regional and international travel bookings (57%), local tourism activities (45 percent) and children’s school holiday activities (15 percent).
Embracing safer spending behaviour with new freedoms
While we’re set to pull out our digital and physical wallets for summer experiences, the research suggests Kiwis need to refresh their safe buying habits as we look to a post-covid, restriction-free shopping era.
According to the report, two thirds of New Zealanders (66 percent) purchased from an unfamiliar online website or business that they had not purchased from prior to lockdown restrictions.
Consumers were then asked what safe buying methods they considered before purchasing from this website, and surprisingly more than half (64 percent) did not conduct a Google search for reviews of the business, inspect social media platforms for signs of legitimacy (60 percent), or ask a friend if they had shopped with them before (75 percent).
These buying behaviours caused some consumers to receive suspicious or unauthorised transactions on their bank accounts (6 percent), wrong or faulty goods (11 percent), spam texts or emails (24 percent) or found they were unable to contact the retailer to return or cancel an order (4 percent).
According to the survey, the average amount lost because safe shopping habits were not followed, was $120.
Peter Chisnall, Country Manager, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Mastercard, says: “For many Kiwis, the coming months will prove to be priceless as they reconnect and rediscover the joy of in-person experiences with friends and family. Which is why it’s important to remember some general safe and sound purchasing behaviours that will ensure these often high-value experiences are not spoiled by malicious actors looking to make a quick buck from unsuspecting or new digital users.
“Kiwis can have peace of mind when paying with their Mastercard in the knowledge that every transaction is protected by the latest payment technology such as tokenisation and Identity Check and powered by Mastercard’s global network – ensuring every payment is safe and secure.”
Mastercard’s SMART checklist
To encourage safer buying behaviour Mastercard has partnered with consumer behaviour expert Dr Michael SW Lee to create the SMART shopping checklist, helping keep safe shopping habits front of mind.
- Secure: Ensure your payments are safe, secure and protected
- Monitor: Monitor your accounts for fraudulent transactions
- Avoid: Avoid clicking on links you don’t recognise
- Research: Do your research and check you’re dealing with a reliable business
- Trust: Trust your gut feelings, especially if something sounds too good to be true
“It’s amazing to see how quickly the shopping experience has moved online in the past few years. The fact that all respondents in the survey say they shopped online during lockdown, and two thirds of those had also shopped with a new business goes to show how important it is to be SMART when shopping online,” says Dr Michael SW Lee, Associate Professor, University of Auckland Business School.
“While shoppers can look to factors like in-store ambience and service when shopping in person, they’re basing online purchasing decisions on their gut (74 percent) or the look of a website (88 percent), which may not always work as hoped. Simply going through the five steps of the SMART checklist will help consumers
to slow down that rush of impulsivity, which many scammers and unethical businesses are counting on. This will be increasingly important especially as we head into the holiday season,” adds Lee.