Oz retailers blind to mCommerce explosion

Oz retailers blind to mCommerce explosion

Summary: The retail sector is flat, but mobile commerce is growing rapidly. So why are Australian retailers so slow to embrace the opportunity?

TOPICS: Mobility, E-Commerce

The retail sector is flat, but mobile commerce is growing rapidly. So why are Australian retailers so slow to embrace the opportunity?

PayPal says the value of their mobile payments grew 14-fold last year, to reach $42 million. The smartphone has had a big part to play here; according to Nielsen, 63 per cent of us now have internet-enabled mobile phones.

Yet, even though Australians have been quicker than most to take up 3G phones, our retailers have been slow to embrace the mCommerce opportunity. Overseas, major brands have realised that this is the next big phase for online sales. For example, check out the UK TV advertisement for Tesco's Grocery Shopping App.

The mobile phone is taking online commerce to the next level — it's convenient, personal and will probably replace the need for us to carry cash or a credit card. So why are Australian retailers ignoring the opportunity? Most don't even have a mobile-optimised website.

On this week's Twisted Wire you'll hear from:

  • Frerk-Malte Feller, managing director, PayPal Australia;
  • Lillian Zrim, senior research manager, Online Division, Nielsen;
  • Jennifer Cromarty, deputy executive director, Australian Retailers Association; and
  • James Mooring, Sales & Marketing Director, oo.com.au.

Running time: 31 minutes, 31 seconds.

Topics: Mobility, E-Commerce


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A critical problem for Australian retailers is their lack of price competitiveness against overseas suppliers. A significant cause is our transaction system, which causes all manner of nugatory tasks to be done and their cost loaded into our prices. And our government's inaction supports taxation in other countries: profits are going to PayPal, et al and offshore suppliers, which supports their societies rather than ours. Implementing Project ERNA strategies per erna4aus.weebly.com would go a long way to turning this situation around to the long term benefit of Australia.
  • Very interesting podcast. A mulit-channel strategy that incorporates mobile is now a must for retailers. Given the rapid growth of smart phones in Australia the hype around mobile is now becoming a reality. And if retailers don't believe mobile is important, consider the prediction that worldwide mobile internet access will overtake desktops by 2014. In addition to mCommerce, retailers also need to think about how they can use mobile for engagement, participation and reaching consumers at the right place and the right time. Gamification is a great way to engage and reward customers and mobile provides a platform to connect the real world with the online world. Think check-in deals (Foursqaure), rewards for social sharing, personalised deals and two-way communication between users and brands. We are currently working on a web solution and mobile app for retail brands that is based around engagement and driving consumers back into stores. Feel free to check out the pre-launch site here www.miibrand.com.au