SYDNEY: Australian shoppers tend to stick to tried and tested stores, whether physical or online, and are mostly "pattern spenders", research has shown.

American Express surveyed 1,993 shoppers across Australia and discovered that six in ten relied on a core of ten different retail and online shops.

Further, its Pattern Spending Report revealed that 85% routinely shop the same way every time they hit the stores with almost half (49%) always visiting the same shopping strip or mall; only one in ten could be described as an impulse shopper.

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As a financial services company, this news is valuable to American Express which can more easily spot fraudulent activity. But it is also potentially useful to retailers, as it indicates there is a large pool of untapped prospects that can be addressed.

The report also identified eight different spending types and said most shoppers fitted at least two of these.

Sale Seekers hunting out bargains and offers were the single largest type, with 41% of Australians falling into this group.

The biggest driver for spending disposable income was in-store discount offers (57%) followed by key sale periods such as the Boxing Day sales (34%). Women were more bargain conscious than men, with 65% motivated by in-store discounts and 40% by key sale periods.

Passionists (30%) mainly spend on a single interest or hobby, while Paydayers (28%) splurge on, or soon after, pay day every month.

Loyalists (24%) prefer to stick to the same brands while Localists (29%) always spend in the same shopping centres.

Clock Watchers (21%) spend at the same time each week, and Planners (20%) spread purchases evenly throughout the month at a wide variety of stores.

Finally, Cyber Spenders (22%) like to do most of their spending online. In a related finding, American Express said that Australians spend an average of 20% of their disposable income online.

Weekends are, unsurprisingly, the most popular time for shopping, with Saturday afternoon (36%) the preferred option, ahead of Saturday morning (26%) or Sunday afternoon (23%). But a significant proportion (21%) also spend while commuting to and from work.

Data sourced from B&T, American Express; additional content by Warc staff