SYDNEY: Shoppers in Australia have adopted a range of new habits on the path to purchase, according to a study.

IBM, the business services firm, surveyed 1,800 people in Australia, and found that 56% of its respondents were optimistic about their personal financial situation.

Despite this, 47% of the sample were seeking out products available at a discount, whereas only 10% anticipated boosting their expenditure levels this year.

Another related trend is that 90% of the panel agreed social networks could save them time when considering purchases, and 40% believed comparative shopping on the web presented benefits.

More specifically, 17% of the contributors would willingly use three types of digital technology while picking between brands, IBM found.

Ian Wong, retail and consumer products industry lead for IBM Global Business Services in Australia, argued the country was "leading the way" when it came to pursuing new behaviours.

He added: "Brands that are truly succeeding are the ones that are delivering a consistent, positive, and personalised experience for customers across various channels - online, mobile, in-store."

Elsewhere, the study showed that trust scores in retailers as a source of information during the purchase process stood at just 10%, but this marked an improvement from 3% a year ago.

"Retailers in Australia are acting on their understanding of the importance of having a cross-channel platform which delivers consistent, positive and personalised experiences to customers. This is a positive progression from last year," said Wong.

Data sourced from IT Web; additional content by Warc staff