According to the annual Sensis e-business report, more Australian small to medium businesses (SMEs) are capitalising on Australia's rapid use of smartphones and tablets.
Ninety-six per cent of Australians are now online and the proportion accessing the internet via a tablet increased to 50 per cent (up from 34 per cent in 2012) and 68 per cent via a smartphone (up from 58 per cent in 2012).
Smart SMEs are making it easier for consumers to do businesses with them via portable devices with companies offering mobile optimised websites.
“The number of SMEs that have optimised their websites for mobile devices has almost doubled, to 17 per cent, in the past year, up from nine per cent in 2012, and five per cent in 2011,” Christena Singh, Manager, Sensis Insights said.
“For Australian businesses to remain competitive it is vital that they have a website that works well on portable devices.”
“Although there is more work to be done, these are encouraging signs that SMEs intend to capitalise on the opportunities that portable devices present with a further 24 per cent planning to introduce mobile sites in the coming year.”
The report also found consumers are using their mobile devices for different online tasks:
- Tablet users were more likely to look for information on products and services (66 per cent) and suppliers of goods and services (63 per cent)
- Smartphone users were more likely to look for information such as maps and weather updates and use social networking sites (71 per cent each)
- 48 per cent of tablet users use them to order products and services compared to 36 per cent of smartphone users.
“Consumers in higher income brackets are more likely to use their portable devices to research and purchase so it's important that businesses can be easily found online if they are to make the most of this trend.”
Other key findings include:
- The number of SMEs using internet marketing increased to 45 per cent in the past year, up from 38 per cent
- 32 per cent are using search engine optimisation (up from 29 per cent in 2012)
- 29 per cent are advertising on social networks (up from 22 per cent)
- 21 per cent are using paid search engine marketing (up from 17 per cent).
While 58 per cent of Australian consumers have downloaded a mobile app in the past year, just five per cent of SMEs introduced an app in the last year. However, 13 per cent of SMEs intend to develop one in the next 12 months.
The proportion of businesses featuring independent reviews of products or customer testimonials on their websites increased to 36 per cent (up from 27 per cent in 2012), 76 per cent now feature product images (up from 72 per cent in 2012) and 40 per cent (up from 37 per cent in 2012) include pricing information.
The Sensis eBusiness Report is an annual report that provides insights into the behaviour of Australia's SMEs with technology and electronic commerce (e-commerce). This includes findings on the Australian consumers' experience and adoption of technology to provide an overall understanding of the Australian environment.
To view the report, click here.