Charting Australia’s mobile commerce landscape: mobile shopping apps use & top m-commerce purchases
July 11th, 2023, Samuel Tan

Charting Australia’s mobile commerce landscape: mobile shopping apps use & top m-commerce purchases

In April, budget shopping mobile app Temu launched in Australia, following its quick rise to popularity in the US where it became the number one most downloaded app on Apple’s iOS store in September 2022.

Temu’s growth in Australia is likely to be closely watched by established e-commerce players, such as eBay, Amazon and Kmart as a potential challenger in the mobile commerce / m-commerce space.

But how popular is online shopping via mobile in Australia currently? How does usage of different mobile shopping channels: e-commerce platform apps, retail brands own mobile apps, social media e-shops and mobile web browsers vary? And what products are Australia’s mobile shoppers most likely to purchase across different age groups?

Latest research from YouGov Surveys – using a nationally representative sample of >1050 Australian residents – show that almost three-quarters of consumers (73%) say they use their smartphone to shop online.

Mobile browsers are the most popular m-commerce channel, used by over two in five (44%) consumers.

Next most popular are dedicated mobile shopping apps, which are used by around a third of consumers. Interestingly – unlike other markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia – use of mobile shopping apps from specific retail brands (33%) is slightly more popular than e-commerce platforms (31%).

Finally, social media e-shops are used by 29% of consumers in Australia.

Retail brand shopping apps are used by at least two-fifths of consumers aged 25-44, and around a third of consumers aged 18-24 and 45-54. But only around a quarter of consumers aged 55 years and older currently use them.

E-commerce platform apps are most popular among consumers aged 35-44, where close to half presently use them. In contrast, current usage among consumers aged 25-34 and 45-54 is around two in five, and less than a quarter of consumers aged 18-24 and 55 years or older.

Among consumers who use dedicated mobile shopping apps, 60% have between two to four of such apps installed on their phone, while almost a fifth have more than five such apps.

How often do consumers in Australia shop online via their smartphone?

Latest data from YouGov Surveys also shows that, among consumers who shop online using their smartphone, most do so at least once a month.

Three in ten (30%) say they don’t shop online via their mobile every week, but do so at least once a month, while a quarter (24%) go mobile shopping on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, 22% say they do so almost every day – a significantly higher proportion compared to other APAC markets.

What products do consumers in Australia buy using their smartphone?

Clothes, shoes and fashion apparel are the #1 most common mobile shopping purchase – more than half of Australia’s mobile shoppers, across different ages, say they buy such products online via their smartphone.

Personal electronics are #2 among mobile shoppers aged 18-34 and 55 years or older, and #3 most popular among mobile shoppers aged 35-54.

Travel bookings for hotels and flights are #2 among mobile shoppers aged 35-54 and #3 among those aged 55 years or older, but rank #6 most common among those aged 18-34.

Skincare and beauty products are #3 most common among mobile shoppers aged 18-34, but rank #6 among 35-54 years and #5 among 55 years and older.


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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 510 and 2,044 for each market. All surveys were conducted online during April 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Australia is nationally representative of all adults (18 years or older), and weighted by age, gender, and region, and reflect the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population estimates. Learn more about Profiles.

Photo by Guido Mieth on Getty Images