For a moment, allow me to speak as an Australian consumer, rather than as an eBusiness analyst. As a consumer, let me say this: In Australia, in 2011, I am truly surprised when I visit a favorite shopping site using my iPhone, only to find I must zoom, pan, and squint to achieve anything useful. It's not a good experience, and it makes it harder for me to shop. The contrast with the great experience I have with the best mobile shopping apps and sites could not be greater.

It turns out I'm not the only Australian online shopper to use mobile apps and the mobile web, according to my new report, "Mobile Technographics: Australian Online Shoppers." In fact, it turns out that Australian online shoppers tend to be sophisticated mobile users — even more advanced than the wider community of Australian Internet users as a whole. And for Australians who regularly shop online in certain product categories, the average level of sophisticated mobile behavior is even higher. For example:

  • 84% of Australian online adults who have mobile phones use them for more than voice — uses that range from SMS to consuming mobile video.
  • 49% of Australian adult mobile phone owners who regularly shop online for apparel, footwear, or accessories are also in Forrester's Entertainers category, meaning they buy content, apps, or personalized services for entertainment on their mobile phones at least weekly.
  • 38% of Australian adult mobile phone owners who regularly shop online for computer hardware, software, or peripherals are also in Forrester's Connectors category, meaning they use mobile email at least once a month, or they use another efficiency or productivity application like mapping.

In briefings, most Australian online retail professionals tell us they've been caught on the hop by this emerging consumer behavior. Many of these retailers expected mobile to be a "nice to have" for some time to come, only to discover from their web analytics that consumers were trying to access their sites using mobile devices, busily zooming, panning, and squinting just like I've found myself doing on too many occasions.

The time is right for a considered response to this significant change in Australian online consumer behavior. But it's not enough to simply "go mobile." Rather, Australian online retailers need to craft a strategy that responds to their business goals and strategy as well as the changing behavior of the customer segments that will help determine their success. In crafting this strategy, the Mobile POST method should be their guide, while "Mobile Technographics: Australian Online Shoppers" should be the foundation for further customer research focused on the retailer's most important segments.