Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data / Mobile Usage

Smartphone Data Helps Brands Bridge the Digital Divide

The recent Digital Australia report showcases the performance of various industries, and highlights how consumers feel about their digital interactions with these industries. The online usage and smartphone data in powerful report emphasises the pronounced complacency in industries that aren’t moving forward digitally – there’s a clear divide. While some sectors have succeeded in engaging Australians with their digital presence, others have completely missed the mark. But what will happen to sectors that don’t keep up?

Online and Smartphone Data - industry digital performance index
Consumer polarity

Consumers aren’t lukewarm about their brand affinity. There seems to be an emotional polarity, where brands either get it right or miss the mark completely. According to the Digital Australia report, “Consumers will be enthusiastic about organisations and sectors that get it right and are caustic in their criticism of those they feel are lagging.”   The report observes that consumers will be less than accepting of brands who don’t keep pace with their industry.  

For progressive sectors like banking and finance, consumer engagement is overwhelming. The National Australia Bank even said their amount of mobile logins have increased by 26% in the past year, and a staggering 92% in the past three years. Highly competitive industries, like banking, have been investing for many years in digital technology, in an effort to get ahead of their competitors. They identified early that their customers would be willing to engage digitally, and have the experience and expertise to engage effectively. Other sectors, like Utilities and Government bodies are late to the party and have a lot of catching up to do.

Smartphone Data Can Bridge the gap

Poor digital performers who are coming late to the party face additional challenges early adopters did not have. Today’s consumers are hyper-connected and have heightened expectations based on their experiences with global organisations across myriad industries.  The sentiment has become “If I can do it there, why can’t I do it here?”

Bridging the gap requires brands to offer safe and secure transactions, ease of navigation and ease of discovery for the product and service information their customers require. These factors are the absolute minimum to play in the digital landscape and consumers will not accept less. With ease of use still a challenge for mobile development locally, this is one of the sticking points for Australian brands. Many industries are yet to create effective online business models, but the bottom line is that digital success now requires a mobile centric approach, mobile first design principles and a good understanding of how consumers engage on these devices.

By not investing in mobile-friendly solutions, brands are risking as much as half of their potential revenue. As the demand for digital grows, and attention spans decrease, it’s vital that users can quickly find products & information. 96% of consumers believed navigation options heavily contributed to their digital experience. Placing menus and functions in easy-to-find places can create a more intuitive experience for consumers. Industries lagging in digital development should place an emphasis on accurate smartphone data, usability testing and consistently evaluating the experiences they’re creating.

Digital success is no longer optional. 45% of consumers say companies who don’t offer an optimised digital experience may lose them as a customer. For the industries who were poorly rated in the digital performance index, this statistic is an ultimatum to deliver a more powerful online and mobile experience. Customers now expect your industry to provide digital experiences, easy-to-find information on the screen of their choosing and swift problem-solving that’s relevant to their device and context.

Age also plays a part in what types of experiences different users crave. While all age groups say secure transactions are the most important thing, it’s more of a priority for the over 55s.  18 – 34s are more interested in online ordering, and are much more likely to expect your website to work well on a mobile phone. Older customers are more interested in intuitive navigation and easy to find product info whereas younger customers look for dedicated apps and social media integration. This only reiterates the polarity consumers feel about digital environments. For industries that cater to specific age groups, the chart below will help you tailor your digital strategy to the correct demographic.

Online and Smartphone Data - digital experience needs by age

Better digital experiences mean more frequent digital payments.

Ecommerce distribution across various categories has experienced a recent shift. The majority (51%) of online shopping for Australians rests in airline tickets, clothing, shoes, and accessories. These industries have been successful in providing a digital experience that’s easy to navigate and secure, as well as offering quick resolutions for customer issues. 30 – 39 year olds have the highest incidence of online shopping – a sweet spot according to the Digital Australia Report. Generation Y leads all other groups in terms of media consumption, at a rate of 17%, and toys/games, at 9%. With the rise of food delivery via smartphone ordering, take-away food is now the sixth most common online purchase. This category saw a surge in commercial success and added revenue because they’ve stayed at the forefront of convenience via digital options, and managed to champion the digital experience.

Most digital natives (38%, according to this survey) prefer to complete tasks by using smartphones. An increased frequency in digital payments provides a snapshot into Australia’s future as a ‘cashless’ society, as ‘tap and go’ payments are made by almost three-fourths of the population. It’s time for brands to keep up, and this means assessing where their sector falls in digital performance, and stepping up their game.

Consumers expect more and more digital engagement from brands, and it’s no longer enough to give a passing nod to digital experiences and transactions. With nearly half of Australians ready to ditch brands that fail to offer a high quality digital experience, 2016 is ushering in a call to action. Organisations that don’t keep pace with leaders in their industry risk being left behind, losing credibility, reputation, and ultimately customers. It’s true all customers care about security and ease of navigation, but these are just hygiene factors. Digital natives speak mobile as their first language, and brands must learn to do the same. By thinking mobile first and creating seamless experiences across multiple devices, brands will be first to earn loyalty from these invaluable and influential consumers.

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