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88 percent of businesses miss the mobile opportunity

Australians are one of the world’s highest adopters of smartphones, with a recent Google survey showing over 50 percent have upgraded. The rate of growth outpaces even USA and European consumers.  

The high adoption rate probably explains why trivia nights at your local pub haven’t been the same since a smart arse can easily look up the name of the tiger on Frosted Flakes rather than relying on knowledge of such important matters.

Unfortunately, it seems that small business have been approaching the business opportunity equally trivially.  Melbourne IT surveyed over 3,500 small business customers and found that only 12 percent of businesses have a website optimised for mobile devices. This means that 9 out of 10 websites may not be able to take advantage of the massive increase in mobile usage. In fact as mobile usage matches PC usage not having a mobile optimised website will soon be like not having a website in 2005.

Getting a mobile optimised website is essential. Consider these points:

  • The device can detect a user’s geographical location which allows for personalised and highly relevant offers.
  • Mobile users buy online. Research by Google has shown that a third of smartphone users in Australia have made a web-based purchase after conducting a local search.
  • There is an increased likelihood that the customer is close to “point of purchase”. i.e. – if the customer is browsing for AFL game times, they are more likely to purchase the ticket for the game whilst they are looking
  • Mobiles are the new TV. People use their mobiles while they are on the go (86 percent) – but also at home (98 percent), at work (75 percent), in store (72 percent), on public transport (60 percent) and in restaurants (59 percent).
  • It’s not all ecommerce, people are also using their mobiles to compare prices of products before buying and Google found that one in five had changed their mind while inside the store.

Mobile devices help bridge the gap between online commerce and traditional retail by providing consumers an easy way to access information about their purchase while on the go. For a retailer a mobile optimised store and targeted offers to local consumers may be just the way to compete in a tough retail environment.

PayPal Australia reported that mobile transactions increased by 25 percent each month in 2010. Once a customer searched a local business domain on a smartphone, 24 percent made an in-store purchase; 21 percent made an online purchase and 45 percent visited the actual business.

Clearly, smartphones mean smart business and Australian business have a massive opportunity to compete more effectively by being where their customers are. Are you smartphone smart?


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