More than half of small businesses are failing shoppers

Elizabeth Barry 31 October 2017

mobile shopper

Australians are shopping on their mobiles more than ever – and SMEs aren't ready for them.

New research from PayPal has revealed that Australian businesses are disappointing their customers, with only half (51%) ready and optimised to accept mobile payments.

This is despite more Australians embracing mobiles for shopping. Not only were 72% of those surveyed shopping on mobiles but 25% listed smartphones as their preferred device. This is an increase of 7% from the previous year.

Launched today, the PayPal mCommerce Index 2017 surveyed the payment patterns and attitudes of Australian smartphone users and revealed a real gap in what customers want and what businesses are providing.

Of the number of businesses that are not mobile optimised, 36% believe their customers don't want to buy on their mobiles and 37% have no plans to optimise for mobiles in the future. The numbers, of course, don't agree with them.

There has been a 46% YoY increase in the percentage of sales taken via mobile for online businesses and almost half (48%) of Australians that buy via mobile do so at least once a week.

Managing director of PayPal Australia Libby Roy said mobile payments are more important than ever for businesses.

“mCommerce is clearly not a fad, but a consumer behaviour change that’s here to stay," she said. "Australian businesses have work to do to bridge the gap between consumer expectations of mCommerce and their ability to offer a streamlined mobile shopping experience."

The driving forces of mobile purchases are convenience (41%) and ease of use (30%). However, if businesses don't provide a good mobile shopping experience then the customer will not stick around.

This is especially true if they are a part of Gen Z, defined as those born in the mid-1990s.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of Gen Z mobile shoppers are annoyed when sites don't work on their mobile. This is compared to 53% of millennials, 50% of those in Gen X and 40% of Baby Boomers. Moreover, 55% of Gen Z mobile shoppers have abandoned a purchase or payments on a mobile device if it was taking too long or too difficult.

And with 82% of Gen Z using their smartphones for shopping, this is an important demographic for businesses to listen to.

“The emergence of Gen Z onto the shopping scene presents Australian retailers with an opportunity to engage with a generation whose buying power will only increase. It has never been more important for Australian businesses to invest in the future of their business with a mobile-first or even mobile-only approach,” Roy said.

It's important for businesses to recognise the changing habits of consumers and respond to their changing demands. Smartphones are integral to people's lives so you need to consider whether mobile has become integral to your business strategy.

Read the PayPal mCommerce Index here.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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