2010 Australia - E-Commerce, Marketing and Advertising

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Last updated: 24 Mar 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 97

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual publication offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the m-commerce and c-commerce sectors. The publication provides analyses of the issues surrounding the growth of e-commerce, including e-banking, e-payments and online advertising. Information on mobile commerce developments are also provided, including m-payments and m-banking, included statistics and forecasts for both the e-commerce and m-commerce sectors. 

Subjects covered include:

  • Analyses of key e-commerce trends;
  • E-commerce trends and statistics;
  • Information on e-payment and e-banking sectors;
  • Analyses of key m-commerce trends;
  • On-line advertising market update, including statistics and forecasts. 

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Kate Castellari

Current publication date:- March 2010 (9th Edition)

Next publication date:- March 2011

Executive Summary

The financial crisis has focused global attention on new infrastructure developments and facilitated a unique opportunity to shift the broadband emphasis from a high-speed Internet service to a national infrastructure for the digital economy that will underpin a range of positive social and economic developments. E-commerce is just one sector that will benefit from improvements in infrastructure and a trans-sector approach to governance; e-government, e-health, e-education, social media and e-science are also important elements of a digital economy.

Australia had already begun this process and it is now finding itself at the forefront of investigations into the development of the new infrastructure necessary to help stimulate the economy. Open access infrastructure provides the best way forward as it creates a multiplier effect that will assist developments in healthcare, education, energy and the environment, as well as in Internet and digital media.

The Australian government is also leading the world in this trans-sector thinking and the industry has embarked on a trans-sectoral campaign, convincing other sectors that an open network will give them the tools to save money and improve their service. At the same time this multiplier effect will create new jobs, perhaps as many as 10,000. This trans-sector thinking will be required to guide us through the next stage of human evolution. In this report we draw attention to the importance of looking across sectors to create that synergy.


Looking in more detail at e-commerce the publication contains detailed statistics from e-business activity usage surveys. The Digital Economy affects everybody existing players such as telcos, banks, media, retail and they will need to adapt to the new environment, while new players will enter these markets from different angles. British research indicates that online users can save £70 per month. We survey the first areas that customers are interested in and which are therefore interesting commercial starting points. It looks at topics such as e-money, mobile email, and buying and selling over the Internet.

Micro-payment utilising e-banking has been discussed for more than 25 years. Online e-payment via telephone billing systems was launched in the 1980s; at the same time smartcards were trialled for micro-payments. However the financial institutions have been more interested in protecting their incumbent businesses than in seriously embarking on e-payment developments. PayPal has established itself as the most advanced e-payment system outside the banks. Off-deck payment systems, using mobile phones, constitute another fast-growing market, as do calling cards. But the real breakthrough will only happen when the large financial institutions decide to become more serious about e-payments.

Prepaid telecommunications products make up a significant proportion of total telecommunication revenues. In 2010 the total revenue from electronic payment systems in Australia is estimated at around $3.8 billion. Prepaid mobile voice services are the largest revenue segment, followed by calling cards, prepaid mobile Internet access, music purchases and gift cards, as well as premium SMS services. The market is rapidly developing and the arrival of rechargeable magnetic cards is a major new development. The market in Australia is dominated by epay with the major banks and mobile operators commanding smaller shares. Significantly Australian mobile operators expect to further increase revenue earned from sales for prepaid mobile Internet access during the rest of 2010. Another growth market is the emerging prepaid electronic transport ticketing services.


Relative to Asian markets, especially in Japan and South Korea, Australia has a small m-commerce industry. The key elements of effective mobile commerce are mobile payments and mobile advertising. The period over 2009 and 2010 is a critical one for the development of a larger m-commerce market. No widely adopted standard for mobile payments has been developed in Australia to date. However mobile banking services have been launched by a number of major financial institutions and these services are expected to become more popular with the mass market in the short to medium term. Widespread adoption of mobile banking is often a precursor to increased adoption of mobile payments and mobile commerce.

Mobile advertising is also in its infancy in Australia; however all major mobile operators have advertising and more sophisticated call-to-action devices within their mobile web portals. There are several key issues impacting on the development of m-commerce in Australia. Typically these are issues related to the customer’s experience of m-commerce services and technical issues relating to the telephony infrastructure.

Online advertising

Defying market expectations, expenditure on online advertisements in Australia grew 18.5% year-on-year. Unabated by the current poor economic environment sales increased to $1.8 billion at the end of the 2009 financial year according to figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers. More specifically Australia’s online search advertising market achieved a 30% growth rate during 2008/09, with both revenues per ad and the amount of search ads served continuing to rise.

Buoyed by the increased use of multimedia advertising on the back of improvements in broadband availability has seen advertisers continue to experiment with new formats. 2010 may see increased use of targeted advertising delivered over the internet as well as increased use of mobile internet advertising by firms which has been driven by advances in the capability of multimedia handsets, the increasing use of mobile data services and the fall in the associated costs to the user.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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