Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations

Australian organisations have it 'appening

Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations


A staggering 75% of Australian organisations are predicted to have mobile apps within the next three to five years in order to engage and interact with their consumers in the most effective way possible, a report from Optus found.

This is a 40% increase of companies incorporating apps into  their marketing strategies than what is existent today.

Optus’ Future of Business report surveyed more than 2,000 adult consumers as well as 550 marketing and IT execs from mid-large organisations to find out which customer interaction channels businesses and their consumers value the most.

These findings indicated that that while consumers are currently happy to transact online, they are less keen to interact. 

The social disconnect


The Optus survey found that only 8% of consumers prefer to engage with businesses via social media, yet 20% expect to interact this way in the next three to five years.

Just over 40% of those surveyed had gone online to interact with a business in the past three months but 56% this will shift to online within the next three to five years. 

Websites are still currently consumers preferred channel of interaction with an organisation, the report suggesting that this might be because consumers do not fully understand the value of the social media channel yet.

Optus Business MD, John Paitaridis, makes a point that while consumers are fully embracing digital channels for their personal lives, they are still not using it to connect with businesses as much as organisations would like.


Banking, bricks-and-mortar and mobile


Despite the social disconnect, consumers and organisations alike agree that nearly all future transactions will be online, and that we can expect in the future that online will become the most important channel to buy and sell products.

Currently, a low 12% of organisations offer mobile payments but this is set to grow to 45% in the next three to five years, and soon mobile will also play a bigger role, with the number of Australian organisations set to engage customers through this platform to rise form 46% to 82%. 

 But it seems that bricks-and-mortar stores won’t be disappearing anytime soon, despite those organisations surveyed predicting marketing contribution from these stores to drop nine points over the next three to five years, with sales dropping eight points. 

This is mainly because some consumers still value face-to-face contact, with 66% saying that talking to a person is important to them and 44% saying that they get better customer service at bricks-and-mortar stores.


Going forward


While organisations may be extremely excited about focusing on their digital channels going forward, Paitaridis stresses that there is still a long road ahead,

“While we have seen significant investment in digital channels, organisations still lag by their own admission in making those channels fully operational for that optimised consumers experience - less than 10% have fully operational mobile channels.”

Showing customers the value of these new channels will also be critical says Paitaridis, as will be ensuring adequate optimisation so that all services created improve customer experience,

“Australian businesses will also need to develop flexible long-term investment strategies that strike the right balance between digital and traditional customer interactions. Executing these strategies successfully will go a long way to meeting the rising expectations of Australian consumers.”

Scott Mason, VP marketing at Optus, agrees with this and suggests that the key to success in the next five years will be developing holistic strategies that blend all customer touch points, from traditional channels right through to mobile,

“What our research shows is that businesses mapping their multi-channel strategies need to consider how each channel builds on and supports the whole customer experience, and not just consider them in isolation.”