From convenience to ‘retailtainment’.

Mobile commerce may have begun as a convenient way to shop on-the-go but it has quickly developed into an entertainment experience for many Australians.

The 2018 PayPal mCommerce Index: Trends Report found that 67% of Australian smartphone owners browse shopping sites for fun on their mobile without any plans of making a purchase and 77% make impulse buys when they do.  With 46% of consumer respondents browsing retail sites for entertainment at least once a week, making mobile shopping more fun could be a boon for retailers.

Aussies are also turning to mobile commerce to unwind, making ‘retail therapy’ a reality for mobile shoppers, with 44% of consumer respondents stating they shop online for relaxation and leisure.  Younger Australians lead this trend with 50% of under-35s stating they shop on their mobile in bed before going to sleep.

PayPal Australia director of customer engagement, Elaine Herlihy, said the behavioural shift towards ‘retailtainment’ is a critical insight for retailers looking to create meaningful engagements with consumers in digital channels.

“The data shows that simply having an online offering is no longer enough for retailers. Australians are demanding mobile-first experiences and are gravitating towards mobile shopping experiences that are fun and engaging.  Reading and writing reviews, product research and sharing images of virtual try-ons is an enjoyable pastime for many, particularly with younger shoppers.”

Given the findings, Australian retailers can no longer view their mobile offering as a transactional storefront, but as a platform to deliver enjoyment, entertainment and social sharing, Herlihy said.

The popularity of shopping for fun is particularly prevalent among younger generations, with 69% of Gen Z respondents (22 years and under) engaging in mobile shopping as a leisure activity, making it as popular as watching television (69%) and more than twice as popular as watching or playing sport (31% and 27% respectively) for this cohort.