Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

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 Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com


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



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