Why mobile matters if you sell online
As custodian of Flying Solo’s website analytics, I’ve watched our mobile traffic rocket up from around five to 17 per cent this past year – and we don’t even have a mobile site! What does the mobile revolution mean for small business retailers?
As you may have seen, we’ve been involved in running webinars and touring the country with PayPal as part of the 2012 Driving Business Online program, and along the way I’ve learnt that the shift to mobile is not just on the horizon. It’s already here.
The world, and Australia, has embraced mobile shopping
Morgan Stanley recently predicted that the mobile phone will be the principle means of accessing the internet by 2014, surpassing laptops and desktops. And Australia has the second highest smartphone penetration in the world , which makes us mobile fanatics.
These stats are supported by the 2012 PayPal Secure Insight | The Future of Shopping report, which reveals that “Mobile commerce took off last year in Australia and PayPal is seeing huge growth in mobile payment, which grew fivefold in 2011.” 
"To tap into the mobile revolution, you'll need to be wherever the customers want to buy. Increasingly, that’s on smartphones and tablets."
And, according to the Adobe Digital Marketing Insights report, tablet users are also becoming key players for online shopping, purchasing at a faster rate than smartphone users. For more stats like this, check out the infographic Why tablets are a retailer’s dream. 
Digital commerce growth is bucking the trend
While times are tough in traditional bricks-and-mortar retail, the Future of Shopping report adds: “Despite low consumer sentiment and continuing turbulence in the global financial markets, online consumption in Australia is forecast to continue its healthy growth throughout 2012.”
Want more articles like this? Check out the online marketing section.
There is a huge local opportunity – not just global
What’s more, despite common misconceptions, according to a report from Forrester Consulting Australians continue to show a preference to buy from local online retailers, with domestic retail accounting for the majority (70 per cent) of online spending in Australia. 
From 2010 to 2011, mobile shopping increased from 5 to 14 per cent of total sales over the Christmas period, and this is set to increase this year as smartphone penetration continues to rise. 
Customer behaviour is transforming
The Future of Shopping report also explores the blurring of the line between new and old retail “…we are seeing a new retail environment beginning to emerge, where conversations around ‘online’ and ‘offline’ retail are quickly losing relevance. As consumers get used to shopping across a variety of channels, both locally and globally, the impetus is on retailers to move the focus away from ‘where’ the transaction is taking place, to focus on driving and fulfilling consumer demand, wherever it is derived.”
In other words, to tap into the mobile revolution, you’ll need to be wherever the customers want to buy. Increasingly, that’s on smartphones and tablets.
FREE DRIVING BUSINESS ONLINE WEBINAR: The Mobile Commerce Generation
Hear Flying Solo’s Robert Gerrish, along with experts from ebay Australia and PayPal, share the latest trends and tips to help your business benefit from the mobile shopping revolution. UNICEF also share their story about using mobile commerce to significantly increase donations. Catch it online here.
Plus, for more information on this topic and all aspects of building your online sales business, visit: www.drivingbusinessonline.com.au
- IPSOS, June 2011
- PayPal Secure Insight | The Future of Shopping, Australia, March 2012
- Milo Infographic, March 2012, www.milo.com/blog (Milo is part of the ebay INC Group)
- A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, Q4 2011
- IBM Benchmark December Holiday Report, 2011