Mobile Marketing

Everyone’s Talking about Mobile Retail this Christmas

Australia’s marketing & business media has been awash with mobile retail and eCommerce news this week.

Part of the reason is a piece of research run by PayPal/eBay in conjunction with Nielsen and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies. The Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery report was released on Wednesday at a media event in Sydney, and examines how mobile technology drives retail sales.

The Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery Report (PayPal/eBay, Nielsen, The Australian Centre for Retail Studies)

The most newsworthy data in the Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery Report is Nielsen’s forecast figure of $5.6 billion in mobile influenced retail sales in 2012.  This is up from only $155 million two years ago.  $5.6 billion is a huge number, but it’s important to note that these are not actual sales made on mobile devices.  Mobile influenced sales include any retail sales that involved an element of mobile during the path to purchase.

The path to purchase is no longer the linear process retailers are used to, and that many continue to expect in the traditional retail environment.  Customers these days are using multiple devices and channels to discover, research, review and discuss products before the ultimate purchase.  Telstra’s recent White Paper on Omnichannel shopping reviewed this phenomenon, finding that 49% of Australian online shoppers have researched goods in a physical store and then bought them online.

We also wrote about this recently in an article about Showrooming, the practice of using a retailer’s showroom to trial a product before walking away and ordering it (often elsewhere) online or via a smartphone.

Deloitte’s Dawn of Mobile Influence Report in mid 2012 also identified the value of mobile as an influencer of mobile commerce.   Deloitte looked at how smartphone owners use mobile in a retail context, and how their use of mobile influences purchasing decisions.  They found that mobile devices’ influence will represent 19% of total store sales by 2016.

Australians are heavily influenced by their mobile devices in the retail environment.

Yesterday’s report from PayPal, Nielsen and The Australian Centre for Retail Studies is a localised analysis of these trend reports and the Nielsen data particularly quantifies the impact of the influence of mobile on retail in Australia.  The figure of $5.6 billion in mobile influenced retail sales in 2012 identifies that Australians are heavily influenced by their mobile devices in the retail environment.

PayPal Announces A New Way to Pay 

Another announcement from the same event was about PayPal’s new Point of Sale innovation.   According to PayPal, they are rolling out a set of APIs in Australia that would allow integration of PayPal functions with standard Point of Sale equipment.  If retailers adopt these functions, shoppers will be able to pay in store using their PayPal account.  To make it possible, consumers will have to download the PayPal app, and add a photo ID to their account. When they arrive at a retail outlet that is set up for PayPal, they would check-in to the store, and their photo ID would be displayed at the Point of Sale for verification when they pay.

Google’s Christmas Present for Retailers

Google also released new data on Wednesday, predicting that this Christmas will be huge for Australian retailers, and recommending that retailers optimise for mobile devices.  Check out the details of Google release on Power Retail’s website.  Everyone is telling the same story this week and Google’s announcement adds more weight, focussing on the way consumers increasingly utilise smartphones to research Christmas gifts, make queries & place orders.

The message is clear.  Multiple screens, multiple channels and multiple paths to purchase mean retailers need to be everywhere this year. According to Power Retail, Ross McDonald from Google Australia said:

“The real moral of this year’s Christmas story is that retailers need to mobilise, and fast. It is no longer enough for businesses to get online  they need to be found wherever the web is, on every screen, or risk losing out.”

Google’s results include an overall 20% increase in shopping-related searches over 2012 with nearly 40% of shopping-related Google searches coming from smartphones or tablets.  Ross McDonald could be right when he says “I don’t think Australian businesses have realised how central mobile has become to Australian shopping.”   With queries from mobile devices more than doubling over the past 12 months, mobile discoverability for retailers is no longer optional.

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One Comment

  1. One click mobile payments, makes mobile a must have strategy for retailers it’s going to be exciting to see how this plays out over the coming 12 – 18 months.