A new study today has revealed that although mobile commerce may have begun as a convenient way to shop on-the-go, it has quickly developed into an entertainment experience for many Aussies.
The PayPal mCommerce Index Trends Report 2018 (which you can read in full here) found that two thirds (67 per cent) of Aussie smartphone owners browse shopping sites just for fun on their mobile without any plans of making a purchase and 77 per cent of them make impulse buys when they do.
While 46 per cent of consumer respondents browsing retail sites for entertainment at least once a week, making mobile shopping more fun could be a boon for Aussie retailers.
Aussies are also turning to mobile commerce to unwind, making ‘retail therapy’ a reality for mobile shoppers, with 44 per cent of consumer respondents stating they shop online for relaxation and leisure. Younger Australians lead this trend with 50 per cent of under-35s stating they shop on their mobile in bed before going to sleep.
Other chief findings of the study included:
- Two-thirds (67 per cent) of Australians digital window shop for fun on their mobiles, with 77 per cent of those making impulse purchases when they do;
- 88 per cent of Australians say they worry about whether items might fit/suit when shopping online or on mobile;
- 44 per cent of Australians are more likely purchase online if they could virtually ‘try before they buy’ using augmented reality on their mobiles;
- Yet, only five per cent of Australian businesses currently offer an AR experience and one in three (32 per cent) are currently developing or intend to develop an augmented reality experience;
- Meanwhile, one in five mobile shoppers have used a voice assistant for retail enquiries\
- 51 per cent of consumer respondents want more retailers to integrate AR into their online offering,
- 12 per cent say they would share virtual ‘try on’ images with their friends on social media, providing talkability and added exposure for retailers,
- 44 per cent of consumers said they’d be more likely to purchase online if they could virtually see what an item looked like on them or in their home before buying, and39 per cent felt virtual try-on experiences would reduce the number of returns.
Elaine Herlihy, director of customer engagement, PayPal Australia, said the behavioural shift towards “retailtainment” is a critical insight for retailers looking to create meaningful engagements with consumers in digital channels.
“The data shows that simply having an online offering is no longer enough for retailers. Australians are demanding mobile-first experiences and are gravitating towards mobile shopping experiences that are fun and engaging.,” Herlihy said.
“Reading and writing reviews, product research and sharing images of virtual try-ons is an enjoyable pastime for many Australians, particularly with younger shoppers.
“With 67 per cent of Australians digital window shopping for fun on their mobiles, and 77 per cent of those making impulse purchases when they do, Australian retailers can no longer view their mobile offering as a transactional storefront, but as a platform to deliver enjoyment, entertainment and social sharing,” Herlihy said.
The popularity of shopping for fun is particularly prevalent among younger generations, with 69 per cent of Gen Z respondents (22 years and under) engaging in mobile shopping as a leisure activity – making it as popular as watching television (69 per cent) and more than twice as popular as watching or playing sport (31 per cent and 27per cent respectively) for this cohort.
While Aussies are wholeheartedly embracing mobile shopping, a number of barriers persist as counterpoints to its convenience and ease-of-use.
Almost nine in ten Australians (88 per cent) say they are concerned about not being able to identify the correct size of an item, and 82 per cent said that even if the size was correct, they are unsure of whether the item will look good on them or in their home.