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Half of Australian mobile sites aren’t delivering what consumers want – and revenues are suffering, warns PayPal

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Half (49%) of Australian retailers are running obsolete mobile sites and are facing lost revenues from 67% of Aussie consumers who want ’mobile-first’ shopping, finds a new study by PayPal. 

While m-retailing has become a convenient way to shop, many Australian consumers want it to be an entertaining experience – something that most retailers down-under have failed to optimise for.

The majority (77%) of surveyed consumers say they ’window shop’ on their mobile sites for fun at least once a week, 30% more than once a week and almost tenth (9%) browse for fun daily, according to the new mcommerce index trends report conducted by PayPal.

The study surveyed more than a thousand Australian adult smartphone users, exploring adoption, usage and sentiment of mobile sites to understand consumer attitudes and behaviour around m-retailing.

Generation X and Z are the most significant consumers of online entertainment, with 62% browsing for fun at least once a week on their smartphones, and 15% of Gen Z doing so daily.

Technology is key: ask Argos, Zara and Amazon

So, how can businesses deliver this much-needed fun factor while supporting a sales-effective customer journey? The answer, says PayPal, is that shoppers crave for tech that will facilitate an engaging and seamless service.

Leading retailers such as Argos, Zara and Amazon are leading examples of how to do it, says the report. By experimenting with new technology such as augmented reality and voice assistants to implement this fun factor into their customer experience, these leading retailers are driving engagement, interactivity and social shareability that not only entertains a customer, but is also designed to maximise sales. 

Shoppers desire for AR is high with 51% of surveyed Aussie consumers saying they would like more retailers to offer augmented reality experience  both in-store and online. In fact, 27% of survey participants say that virtual try-on experience would make them want to buy purchase more. 

Five per cent of surveyed consumers have used AR for mobile shopping and an equal 5% of online businesses currently offer augmented reality. Another 32% of businesses are developing or intending to implement an augmented reality experience.

Voice assistants: new but significant

A relatively new addition to Australian households, voice assistants are poised to reshape how we interact with online retailers.

One-in-five consumers have already used a voice assistant to research retail information, and it’s promising to see that 4% of online businesses have integrated voice assistants into their customer offering. A further 15% are already exploring how they can adopt voice assistants to drive sales.

“These findings represent an opportunity and a challenge for the retail sector,” comments Andy Burton, chief executive officer of Tryzens. “With consumers looking for mobile-first shopping experiences that also provide rich content for leisure and entertainment – it’s no surprise that retailers are adopting technologies such as Apps, augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-ons to keep customers particularly younger shoppers engaged.”

According to Burton, this report is indicative of the fact that there has never been a better time to leverage the power on mCommerce in its broadest form. To take advantage of the 46% of shoppers that are ‘window shopping’ on their mobiles, retailers must take a moment to reassess their mobile offerings, making sure they don’t lose sight of the basics like demonstrating good value and having great products. In addition they need to reimagine customer experience and interaction including offering alternative functionalities such as one-click ordering, to improve the customer purchase journey.”

“The key is to be intuitive, easy to navigate and engaging,” adds Burton. “While many retailers have a mCommerce capability presently, we are seeing many of our clients enhance their existing investments in mobile to drive greater persistence of personalisation for customers across devices as well as responsive designs and App based experiences for regular customers to improve mobile engagement and conversion.”

He concludes:“Consumers now have an unparalleled level of convenience when it comes to mobile shopping, allowing them to make purchases at any time, from any place. Therefore, retailers’ need to focus on improving the customer journey by offering functionalities such as one-click payment to geo-location that creates a highly personalised, highly intuitive shopping experience for customers. By fully integrating promotions, look-books, merchandising, sales and delivery into their eCommerce platforms, retailers can convert ‘retailtainment’ into sales.”

Image: Fotolia

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