How Smartphones and Social Media are Transforming Australian Retail

Dec 19 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

Social and mobile commerce are increasing in popularity at a rapid rate and businesses that do not adapt risk being left behind.
Australia is a nation of ‘social shoppers’ but the term, once used to describe friends meeting at the local shopping centre, now better reflects the growth in purchases being made online through social media channels, as consumer behaviours evolve.

Social strategy pays off

While it’s early days for social commerce, the spending has begun. According to the PayPal mCommerce Index 2019, businesses who have been quick to spot the trend and make social media a part of their sales channel mix are already experiencing an explosion in consumer uptake.

They are seeing almost two-in-five (38%) sales being made via social channels. Yet these early-adoptersmake up less than one-fifth (18%) of the ecommerce landscape.

38percent The remaining 82% would do well to make social selling a priority, as consumer adoption shows a year-on-year increase of 42% from 2018, meaning more than a quarter (27%) of shoppers have made a purchase via social media in the last six months.

The reality is that there are currently 50% more consumers buying on social than there are businesses selling on these channels – so companies late to engage in social commerce risk leaving a substantial source of revenue untapped.

83percent While businesses might not yet be making the most of the selling opportunities presented by social channels, they are doing a better job of using these channels to promote themselves: 83% of businesses currently use social channels for promotion, with 59% posting at least once per week.

Mobile matters more than ever

Given that we spend so much time scrolling through our social feeds, it is no surprise that the increase in social shopping is emerging as the newest mobile commerce trend.

As with social commerce, consumers lead on the mobile front, with almost three-quarters (73%) now shopping on their mobile devices, which rises to 87% for consumers aged under 35. However, unlike social, most businesses now support mobile commerce, with 60 per cent considering themselves mobile optimised.

So ingrained have mobile devices become in the lives of Australians that:
  • 41% of Australian consumers now prefer shopping via their mobile device, choosing it above their laptop/notebook (32%) or desktop (23%)
  • 55% of mobile shoppers pay or purchase via mobile at least weekly
  • 73% of Gen Z and Gen Y shop via their device at least weekly
  • 18% of consumers shop via their mobile on a daily basis; a figure that rises to 32% of Gen Z.

Convenience is key to competitive edge

What’s clear is that Australians like shopping when and where it’s convenient. Smart devices are powerful enablers of this behaviour, so expect the move to mobile to become increasingly ingrained in the way Australians shop.

Which means mobile and social commerce will continue to become truly formidable forces in the Australian retail landscape and essential tools for businesses looking to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment.

For some handy tips on harnessing the power of mCommerce to deliver a great mobile experience, visit our PayPal Business Resource Centre:

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.