Author: Greg Taylor

Business finance: Get portable to make it easier for customers to do business with you

In his weekly business banking post, our CFO Greg Taylor shares the latest results of an E-business Report and asks can your customers access your business from a smartphone or tablet.

Is your business switched on to the fact that an increasing number of your customers are using smartphones and tablets?

A staggering 96 per cent of Australians are now online according to the latest annual E-business Report by the people at Sensis. The report shows that the proportion accessing the internet via a tablet has increased to 50 per cent (up from 34 per cent in 2012) and 68 per cent via a smartphone (up from 58 per cent in 2012).

Even if you are not a big user of smartphones and tablets, you need to find out if your customers want to use this technology to do business with you. Ask them. It may be a way of attracting a new segment of the market to your business and differentiating yourself from competitors. The Report found that while the number of small and medium businesses that have optimised their websites for mobile devices has almost doubled in the past year it is still only 17 per cent that have done so. While 58 per cent of Australian consumers have downloaded a mobile app in the past year, just five per cent of SMEs introduced an app in the last year. However, 13 per cent of SMEs intend to develop one in the next 12 months.

There are some useful consumer insights in the Report. Tablets are more likely to be used to look for information on products and services as well as suppliers of goods and services. Smartphones are more likely to be used to look for information such as maps and weather updates and use social networking sites. Tablets are also preferred for order products and services compared to smartphones. Consumers in higher income brackets are more likely to use their portable devices to research and purchase.

Can people access your business from a portable device? For more information download the Report for free at

This post is based on Greg’s weekly column in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Post.