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Australian Businesses Missing Out on Mobile Opportunity

PayPal has recently released its inaugural mCommerce Index, a new biannual barometer on the state of mobile commerce in Australia, which identifies “a significant gap” between the mobile payments behaviour of consumers & business willingness to support mobile transactions.

Nearly 71% of respondents in Australia are using their mobiles to make online payments, whereas only 49% of businesses are optimised to accept them.

Furthermore, 31% of businesses said that they have no future plan to optimize for mobile sales, which is clearly reflected in the percentage (26%) of businesses which have no sales via mobile device. “Australia has one of the highest levels of mobile penetration globally with 80% of the Australian population owning a smartphone, so I was surprised to discover the low level of business readiness to accept sales effectively via mobile devices,” said Libby Roy, managing director, PayPal Australia.

“The mobile payments landscape is fast-evolving and the Index reveals how habituated Australian consumers have become to mobile shopping with more than a third of us making mobile payments at least once a week – a figure that jumps to 47% for the under 35s. So although online businesses may think they don’t need to optimise for mobile now, they will have to if they want to stay competitive in the near future,” adds Roy. M-commerce Drivers & Barriers

According to the index, 85% of smartphone users in Australia aged 18 to 34 purchase via mobile, compared to 35 to 49 year olds at 73% and over 50s at 52%. Australians prefer to shop on their mobile devices because it saves their time (48 per cent), they love the convenience (48 per cent), as well as it is easy for them to shop on their mobile devices (39 per cent). Now when looking at the barriers to mobile commerce, it is the younger Australians who are most displeased when websites are not enabled for mobile (59 %) compared to 45% for 35-49 & 28% for over-50s. Security was also a concern for many Australians with 46% citing it as a barrier to m-commerce adoption.

Social commerce Social commerce or shopping via a social platform like Facebook “has emerged as the new frontier for online commerce”. About 11% of Australians reported that they have made a purchase via a social platform in the past 6 months. These days social platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have become increasingly popular and consumers are highly engaged in these channels. As these channels emerge as commercial avenues, businesses in Australia should adapt if they want to maximise their online commerce opportunities.

“It’s obvious that the early adopters in the business community are getting on board with social commerce as the business uptake at 7 per cent is not far behind consumer adoption at 11 per cent for this new way to buy and sell,” Roy commented.

“However, there’s a huge gap between the early adopters and the majority in the business community – with 34 per cent of Australian businesses having no social media presence at all, and 89 per cent of businesses stating they have no intention of accepting payments via social platforms within the next six months.”

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