Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

A growing number of Australians are turning to the internet for information on mobile phones before making a purchase. However, while the internet is considered useful for researching mobile phones, relatively few Aussies buy their mobiles online.

In 2012, a growing number of Australians 14+ turned to the internet for information on mobile phones before actually making a purchase. In fact, one in four people now consider the internet to be the ‘media most useful’ for information when purchasing a mobile phone — up marginally from 23.7% in 2008.

As the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show, the internet (40.1%) is now almost twice as popular as catalogues (21.2%) among Australians researching mobile phones prior to purchase. That said, catalogues still out-perform television and newspapers for this purpose.

However, while the internet is considered useful for information about mobile phones, a relatively low proportion of Australians end up buying their mobiles online. In 2012 only 8.5% of people who bought mobile phones did so via the internet — a slight increase from 2008 (4.3%), but still well below the percentage of people who bought their phones from a bricks-and-mortar store (62.7%).

Source (chart 1):Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2008 – December 2012, 12 month average n= 52,035)

Source (chart 2): Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Australians 14+ who have had current mobile phone handset for 12 months or less, January 2008 – December 2012, 12 month average n= 5,761.

Andrew Braun, Mobile, Internet and Technology Industry Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In 2012 only 8.5% of individuals who’d bought a mobile phone handset within the previous 12 months purchased it online. However, in an average four-week period, almost half of this group bought some other type of product online, which is higher than the average Australian aged 14+.

“This indicates that many Australians go online to research mobile phones before buying them, but this is where their reliance on the internet during the path to purchase ends. They still prefer to purchase mobile phones in-store.

“Surprisingly, although telecommunications companies typically position themselves at the forefront of the digital revolution, they seem unable to maximise their online channels as a main revenue-generating source. ‘Bricks and mortar’ still rules, as most mobile phone purchases take place in direct supplier outlets (such as the Telstra shop), retail outlets (like Apple and Dick Smiths), and discount stores (such as Target and Kmart).

“It will be interesting to see whether Telcos and mobile phone retailers are more successful in leveraging the internet as a sales channel over the coming 12 months.”


Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.
Alex Dalidakis
P: +61 3 9224 5209
W: www.roymorgan.com


Telstra, Apple, Dick Smith, Kmart, Target, Andrew Braun, Telecommunications, mobile phones



More Formats