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Australians are happy to click on digital ads – getting them to buy is another story

Myriam Robin /

Australians are some of the most digitally-savvy consumers in the world, happy to interact with digital advertising despite Australian retailers being relatively slower to embrace online commerce than their overseas counterparts.

But when they get to the website, fewer Australians are actually buying than comparable overseas markets, leading to lost sales for Australian businesses.

The finding comes from dgm’s first mobile report, which draws together information collected by the agency across the $20 million of online digital transactions it oversees either directly or indirectly through its affiliates.

The online customer acquisition agency compared its results to figures out of the UK, and found that while Australians are more likely to click on smartphones and tablets, the percentage of those clicks that converted to a sale was far lower.

John Matthews, general manager at dgm, tells SmartCompany this is because British retailers have mobile-optimised websites.

“There is a real opportunity in Australia to close the gap by offering a better shopping experience to the customer,” he says.

“We have the highest smartphone penetration in the world. And you can see from the clicks that the consumer sentiment is already there.

“But the UK is far more developed in how it deals with smartphones.”

One bright spot comes in tablets, which had the highest conversion rate (followed by desktop and mobile). This could be because tablet users tend to come from higher socio-economic groups than those who use desktops or smartphones.

Matthews also credits the better user experience on tablets.

“The categories where tablets do well are health and beauty, and fashion. I think that shows that when it comes to those types of purchases, the tablet is a much more immersive experience for the consumer. It’s better for consuming those types of products.”

The data also showed desktop purchases had the highest order value, followed by tablets and mobile. “This could be driven by the fact that for larger ticket items that require further research and potentially have more intricate shopping carts,” the report states.

Travel purchases were most likely to be made on a desktop computer, while purchases for hair and beauty were most likely to be made on a tablet or mobile.

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Myriam Robin

Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.

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