Retailers need to lift their mobile and digital game, finds new report

New research into the Australian ecommerce market finds 20 per cent of consumers are visiting ecommerce sites from mobile devices yet many retailers spend less than 5 per cent on mobile advertising

Mobile is driving one in five retail digital interactions and yet many Australian retailers spend less than 5 per cent of their advertising budgets targeting these consumers, a new report claims.

The 2014 Snapshot of Australian E-Commerce study, which was produced by ecommerce solutions provider, ChannelAdvisor, in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association, found at least 20 per cent of traffic to retail sites is coming from mobile devices. Yet half of the 400 retailers surveyed spend less than 5 per cent of their advertising budget on targeting these devices.

Related: Marketers using measurement complexities to avoid mobile are 'lazy'

The research also found almost two-thirds of Australian retailers offered free shipping in the past 12 months and nominated this as their most successful online customer service offering. Other key customer service offers included no-hassle returns and two-day or faster shipping.

ChannelAdvisor and the ARA reported 77 per cent of local retailers see social media as a way to increase brand awareness, with 93 per cent nominating Facebook as their top social media platform in terms of conversions.

Nearly half those surveyed said social media channels were key to attracting a new generation of customers yet again, only 36 per cent currently view social media as a way to drive conversions.

The survey was undertaken via email and online in July.

‘Savvier’ retailers earning $1 million or more online were highlighted in the report. Seventy per cent of these organisations invest in digital marketing, including online advertising as well as social media. Google Shopping, driven by product listing ads, was nominated the best-performing digital marketing channel, followed by paid search.

Other marketing tools include comparison shopping engines, retargeting, social media promotions and display advertising.

ChannelAdvisor also looked into the international and third-party behaviours of local retailers, finding 50 per cent of those bringing in more than $1 million online are selling on at least one third-party marketplace such as eBay. Overall, one-third of respondents are currently selling on international sites, and several saw future opportunities in global marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and

Across the board, Australians are spending about $15.6 billion each year online, according to NAB’s Online retail Sales Index in July, and this figures is only going to increase.

“Retailers have many day-today demands such as juggling customer needs, shipping challenges and fast-moving, fickle consumer trends,” ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, said. “Despite these demands, it’s imperative that retailers spend time planning.

“The survey shows a need for greater planning and measurement, as retailers often answered ‘I don’t know’ when asked questions about where their sales or Web store traffic originated, or how much they were spending on advertising.

“Ecommerce is, and will continue to be, a core part of retail and retailers must continually learn how to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook:, or check us out on Google+:

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Un-complicating multi-channel marketing: 5 actionable steps

There’s so much choice available that customers can pick and choose who they buy from and where, when, and how it happens. They want to discover, research, evaluate, and purchase on their preferred channel. Give them that option, and they’re more likely to choose you. That’s the whole point behind the multi-channel approach.

Aaron Agius

Co-founder and managing director, Louder Online

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...

CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in