Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data / Mobile Shopping

Aussies turn to smartphones and tablets for shopping

According to AIMIA over half of Australians now go shopping using their smartphone and three quarters using their tablet.  While laptops and desktop PCs still rate as the preferred device for online shopping, Australian customers are increasingly turning to their more personal, mobile devices to make purchases.

AIMIA’s 2014 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (AMPLI) looks at the preferences of Australian mobile phone users.   Last week we dived into the results and pulled out some key findings about device usage and ownership, music streaming, wearables and marketing preferences.   This week we focus on AMPLI’s findings regarding shopping and mobile payments.


Just under half of Australians will use their smartphone to buy something online more than once a month and 15% do so more frequently, at least once a week.

  • 93% had made a purchase on their computer
  • 73% had made a purchase on a tablet
  • 58% had made a purchase on their smartphone
  • 44% use their smartphone to buy things online once a month or more
  • 15% use their smartphone to buy things online at least once a week.

In the past, mobile purchases tended to focus on digital content for the mobile phone.  This figure has dropped again this year as we begin to rely on our mobile phone to purchase ‘real world’ physical goods such as clothing, shoes & jewellery. Spending is also up on ticketing services which can be easily delivered to the mobile phone and other more traditional services like insurance.

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Satisfaction with the purchase experience

91% of respondents reported being very or somewhat satisfied with their recent purchase experiences of shopping online.  The online channel that has become familiar for most Australians and we are comfortable making online purchases using a laptop or desktop computer.  Many Australian retailers now have established online stores and have invested resources in making these accessible and efficient for customers.  This is not necessarily the case for mobile shopping.  At 67%, fewer Australians are satisfied with the purchase experience on their smartphone, reflecting retailers’ lack of expertise in developing effective mobile shopping experiences.  With tablets offering a more forgiving translation of online stores, the shopping experience on a tablet rates almost as well as that for PCs.

  • 91% were satisfied with Purchase experience on PC
  • 88% were satisfied with purchase experience on tablet
  • 67% were satisfied with purchase experience on smartphone

Preferred device for making purchases:

Given customers’ levels of satisfaction with the purchase experience, it makes sense that the majority of Australians choose their PC as the preferred shopping device.  However 12% of respondents would choose their tablet to make an online purchase and 7% would make their smartphone the first choice for shopping.

  • PC 68%
  • Tablet 12%
  • Smartphone 7%

There’s quite a lot of variation in the types of purchases made on a mobile phone or tablet compared to those made using a personal computer, but it’s clear that for the time being, we still lean towards the better experience of shopping on sites designed for a PC when its available. This won’t always be the case however.  Already 25% of respondents have bought books via their mobile phone and 45% via a tablet.  Even though 70% have purchased clothes, shoes & jewellery via their PC, as many as 58% have also done so via a tablet and 41% via a mobile phone.  Mobile phone and tablet shopping is creeping up on PC shopping and it’s only a matter of time before we use these devices interchangeably.  As services and tools improve, we are sure to find that many prefer the more personal nature of a smartphone or tablet for shopping and ultimately these will become our preferred purchasing devices.

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Mobile Payments

It won’t be long before the majority of Australians have mobile payment capability at their fingertips.  It’s still early days, but many smartphone apps already link credit card details to the device so that customers can scan their smartphone and make in store payments as though with a credit card.   Only 7% of Australians reported already use their phone as a credit card, but more than a third of Australians are already chomping at the bit for the opportunity.

  • 34% of respondents would like to use their phone as a credit card
  • 7% already use their phone as a credit card

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