Trends and Data

Australians saved $2.9 billion in 2011 by shopping smart

Press Release

eBay research[1] released today reveals that Australians are becoming savvier with their retail dollars with over four million smartphone owners now using their phones to compare prices before making a purchase.

Those savvy shoppers who used their phone to research products saved $2.9 billion in 2011, that’s an average saving of $595 per person.

While a whopping 1.3 million Australians used their mobile phone to both research and purchase items, consumers still enjoy shopping in a variety of different ways: 

  • 37% who researched a product using their mobile, did so while looking at the product in a physical store
  • 45% who researched via their mobile typically purchase the item online using a computer
  • 44% who researched a product using their mobile still typically purchase in-store
  • 15% of those that have used their smartphone to buy a product have been standing in a store but purchased it online from a different retailer via their smartphone
  • 46% of smartphone users say that they will use their mobile device more frequently to research this year’s Christmas presents

Deborah Sharkey, eBay Vice President commented that the increased use of smartphone technology had empowered consumers to determine their own shopping experience;

“Retail purchases have been assumed to sit in one of two camps; offline or online, but this distinction no longer exists. With portable shop windows sitting in consumer’s pockets, Australians are more empowered than ever before to research products and get the best possible price before completing their transaction.”

“Traditional retailers must embrace a multi-channel strategy as Australians increasingly use smartphone technology to blur the lines between online and offline shopping.”






  • Between 5% and 10% of Australian iPhone owners log into eBay’s mobile app daily
  • An item is purchased every 4 seconds in Australia through eBay mobile apps
  • The most expensive item purchased in 2011 through the eBay mobile app by an Australian was a Mercedes-Benz Convertible for AUD $ 50,989

The most popular smartphones for purchases on eBay by Australians:

  1. iPhone
  2. iPad
  3. Mobile Web
  4. Android
  5. Blackberry

Top 3 most popular categories purchased through eBay mobile apps by Australians:

  1. Fashion
  2. Technology
  3. Home & Garden

Australia’s biggest spenders through eBay mobile apps:

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. Brisbane
  4. Adelaide
  5. Newcastle
  6. Gold Coast
  7. Wollongong
  8. Gosford Region
  9. Canberra
  10. Sunshine Coast


  • eBay’s main iPhone application is available in 8 languages & 190 countries and has been downloaded more than 20 million times globally since its introduction in 2008
  • eBay's entire portfolio of mobile applications surpassed 50 million downloads globally since the launch of mobile in 2008
  • In 2010, consumer’s bought nearly US$2 billion worth of goods globally through eBay’s mobile applications. This is expected to increase to almost $5 billion in 2011.
  • The fastest growing international eBay mobile markets are Australia and the UK
  • Comparison shopping became a hot trend in 2010. Global downloads of eBay's RedLaser iPhone app have more than tripled since eBay acquired the app in June to nearly seven million downloads to date
  • An item is purchased every second globally through eBay mobile apps


[1] Research conducted on behalf of eBay by Galaxy Research between Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2011 using a sample of 1,265 respondents