PayPal: Mobile commerce to eclipse traditional online spend

Mobile commerce is growing at nearly three times the rate of total online commerce, according to new research from PayPal.

Mobile commerce is growing at nearly three times the rate of total online commerce, according to new research from PayPal.

The research, conducted by Ipsos, investigated the mobile shopping habits of more than 17,500 consumers in 22 countries, including Australia, while also examining insights into mobile shopping behaviour, barriers to entry and growth markets.

According to the resulting data, the amount spent via mobile devices is projected to grow 43 per cent to AUD$8.8 billion. Total online spend (including mobile) however, has a much lower growth forecast with the data predicting a 10 per cent increase this year to AUD$50 billion.

“We are well and truly entering the mobile-first era,” Emma Hunt, Director of Small Business at PayPal Australia says. “In Australia, one in three PayPal transactions now takes place on a mobile device and globally mobile transactions account for nearly 20 per cent of our total payment volume.”

PayPal’s research suggests mobile commerce is still relatively small as a percentage of global online spend, with smartphone purchases driving only nine per cent of online spend and purchases made on tablets accounting for only five per cent of online spend. However, both are dwarfed by laptops, desktops and notebooks, which cumulatively are used for 85 per cent of online spend.

While percentage of spend numbers still might be low, the prevalence of mobile shopping is quite significant. 33 per cent of Australian online shoppers surveyed report having purchased something via smartphone in the past 12 months, and 23 per cent report making a purchase via tablet.

The surge in smartphone commerce is being driven by young adults. A global average of 59 per cent of smartphone shoppers are between 18-34 years old versus 44 per cent of total online shoppers. Locally, 64 per cent of smartphone shoppers have purchased via an app and 55 per cent have purchased via browser.

Among those who have used both platforms, apps are typically preferred, with 47 per cent preferring to shop through an app. When all smartphone and tablet users were asked about the benefits of using an app to pay for things either online or offline, the most cited benefits were convenience (32 per cent) and speed (27 per cent).

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