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E-commerce

Aussies say they’ll think twice before buying from overseas

New research on consumer behaviour and the upcoming GST law suggests some Aussies will stop buying from international websites, when faced with the added expense of paying GST on their purchases.

In a survey conducted by Decibel on behalf of Adyen, 1,000 Australian consumers were asked about their online shopping habits and opinions about the new GST law, which as of 1 July requires foreign retailers to collect GST on online orders that are shipped to Australia. This was previously only required for online orders worth more than $1,000.

More than 80 per cent of respondents said the new tax will influence their purchase decision, with 16 per cent saying the new tax will stop them buying from international websites altogether.

The majority of respondents, 65 per cent, said they will think twice about buying from international websites, while 50 per cent said they will do more research before making a purchase.

Only 26 per cent of respondents said their buying behaviour will be unaffected by the new law.

Around 75 per cent of respondents have shopped from an international website, with younger and wealthier respondents more likely to have done so, and 89 per cent said they have been put off from completing an online order due to shipping and handling costs at some point.

Half of respondents unaware of new GST law

But while 54 per cent of respondents said they believe they will shop online less often after the new GST law comes into effect, a nearly equal number of respondents, 55 per cent, were unaware of the new online shopping tax.

This suggests that the great GST debate, which saw traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers advocating strongly for a “level playing field” and online retailers pleading for global free trade, may have been beside the point.

Indeed, survey respondents were split nearly down the middle about whether they believe local businesses will benefit under the new law. However, most agreed that it is a “protectionist” move and likely to spark retaliation from other countries, which will hurt local Australian businesses selling overseas.

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