Mobile Shopping

Consumers expect more from mobile retail

Increased mobile usage in Australia could mean big things for mobile retail, but Australian companies still hold back from creating better mobile shopping experiences. In fact, a study from Episerver shows consumers expect more from mobile commerce than what’s currently available. So how can you tell if your brand is delivering?

The Episerver study for 2015 highlights consumer preferences for mobile retail engagement, using both mobile and tablet devices. As many as 81% of tablet users and 74% of smartphone users have purchased something on their mobile device and 1 in 5 turn Australians already turn to their mobile device first for online shopping.  The findings clearly show that mobile commerce is ramping up to become a primary pillar for ecommerce in Australia. Ultimately, Australian consumers crave more mobile shopping options, but they have little tolerance for poor mobile retail experiences.  Almost half of Australian consumers say bad mobile design would reduce their chances of making a purchase and 60% won’t even bother trying a desktop site after a mobile site fails for them.  In fact 59% will completely abandon a site if it is difficult to access and as many as a quarter will go to a competitor’s site.

With 94% of Australians now owning smartphones, it’s alarming to see the survey found Australian retailers scored 34% in terms of overall mobile strategy for mobile commerce. Mobile shopping is the 5th most common activity Australians carry out on their mobile devices, after finding directions, social networking, communication activities and banking.

Below are some of Episerver’s key findings for mobile retail in Australia:

  • 94% of the Australian population owns a smartphone, while 66% own both a smartphone and tablet.
  • 65% of Australians have purchased something through a retailer’s mobile app
  • 46% of consumers say bad mobile design reduces their purchasing likelihood.
  • 60% of Australian consumers won’t even bother trying to access a purchasing site on desktop, if it doesn’t work on their mobile device.
  • 1 in 5 Aussies turn to their mobile device first in terms of online shopping.
  • 59% of consumers will completely abandon a site if it’s difficult to access.
  • Australia was ranked second most mobile-active region for smartphone usage in the international survey.
  • 55% of tablet users use their devices to browse the web every day.
  • 74% of Aussies have purchased something through their mobile browser, while 58% have made a mobile purchase through a retailer’s app.
  • 81% of tablet users have purchased something through the tablet’s browser, while 72% have shopped via a tablet app.
  • The most common purchases on mobile devices in Australia are (in order): apparel, travel, entertainment, and music.
  • 27% of Australians have purchased travel-related items & tickets on their mobile devices.
  • 62% of Australian survey respondents rank ‘at home’ as their most common location for mobile device usage.
  • Over 25% of Australians will go to a competitor’s site if their mobile experience was lacking in speed or responsiveness, while 59% just leave the site.


This data is great news for Australian marketers looking to develop strategies for mobile, because it means it’s the perfect time to get in the game. Few brands are taking advantage of mobile apps and mobile commerce, leaving little competition for brands joining the mobile retail space. Marketers shouldn’t worry about mobile retail killing brick-and-mortar experiences. Instead, it’s likely that the lack of a mobile commerce option will put the entire business model at risk. With 20% of Australian consumers already turning to mobile first, brands who are present and strong in the mobile channel will reap the rewards in brand value and foot traffic as well.

Episerver’s mobile commerce survey also defined what triggers consumers to turn to their mobile browsers. First and foremost, consumers turned to mobile for speed and convenience. They also turned to mobile because of email offers, brand affinity, and alternative purchasing options if the item wasn’t currently available to purchase in-store. The survey also found that 10% of Australian consumers are responsive to app notifications, which is higher than their response to text message offers (just over 5%). Australians were also extremely susceptible to email offers, right under 30%. So what’s the best way to reach Australian consumers and surpass their expectations of a mobile retail experience?


Australian consumers want mobile retail experiences that automatically adapt to their device’s screen size.

Natalia Gamarra, Business Development Executive at Episerver APAC says, “Retailers must learn to walk a fine line between personalization, data collection and genuine privacy concerns.” Australian businesses have a long way to go to absorb the amount of mobile retail business that consumers are already comfortable with, but the first step is investing in quicker & better designed mobile shopping experiences.

In synergy with Episerver’s report, Criteo released their Q4 findings for 2015. Criteo concluded that mobile accounts for 35% of global ecommerce. Australia, however, leapfrogged five countries in mobile transactions over the past year, with mobile accounting for 39% of all Australian ecommerce transactions, and proving how quickly Australian consumers are adopting mobile commerce. The study also found that in the last year, the top retailers saw double the growth in mobile retail transactions worldwide. While four out of ten transactions were completed on multiple devices, nearly one-third of them are completed on mobile. This allows you to link shopping experiences in real-time, because worldwide, consumers are purchasing on multiple devices 37% of the time. This research corresponds with Episerver’s study, so multi-device shopping should be a priority.

On a global scale, Criteo found mobile apps took 54% of the market share for mobile retail transactions, while browsers only held 46%. The research concludes this difference is because there are less barriers in the buying process when shopping via a mobile app. Does this mean that Australia has fallen behind on developing dedicated mobile shopping apps, while the rest of the mobile commerce world has surged ahead? Criteo’s research suggested that mobile retail apps offer better control of the purchasing path, leading to higher conversion rates, and inevitably, beating desktop conversion at every stage.

Better control over the purchasing environment and flow also causes consumers to spend more than they would if they were purchasing via desktop. Ultimately apps drive results and it’s time for Australian brands to move beyond expecting the online experience to work in the mobile browser and seriously consider shopping apps for a dedicated mobile retail experience.

Criteo offered tips marketers could implement to optimise the mobile retail experience for their customers:

  • Channels should be responsive to individual devices and environments.
  • Personalise the mobile shopping experience to increase conversions.  
  • Add payment options, lower the amount of clicks to buy, and highlight the best products, to eliminate  barriers to purchase.
  • Use cross-device identification technology to better understand your mobile customers.
  • Offer personalised product recommendations and place the best products upfront to increase conversion rates.

With smartphones being the ‘mobile purchase device of choice,’ it’s still surprising companies are lagging behind in terms of creating better mobile retail experiences. Australia holds the sixth highest mobile conversion rate for mobile retail globally. For companies wanting to make a splash, a mobile-friendly shopping site with clean, quick navigation should be top priority. Convenience is key, and with mobile shopping, a rapid speed paired with a well-designed customer experience is what closes the deal. For marketers, it means leveraging location targeting and minimising barriers between browsing and purchasing to close more deals. Criteo concluded that across the board, apps will drive business results in mobile commerce. Consumers expect more in terms of mobile commerce, and it’s time for Australian brands to deliver.


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