Recent retail research has shown that Australians are turning to the internet to learn more about products before making purchases of mobile phones.

Roy Morgan Research found that 40.1 per cent of respondents were using the internet to learn more about mobile phones before purchasing, compared to catalogues at 21.2 per cent.

This equates to around one in four people considering that the internet is the ‘most helpful’ media source to perform research.

However, although this information shows that people are using the internet to research products, it does not necessarily suggest that they are choosing to purchase them online instead of instore.

“Surprisingly, although telecommunications companies typically position themselves at the forefront of the digital revolution, they seem unable to maximise their online channels as a main revenue-generating source,” said Roy Morgan mobile, internet and technology industry director Andrew Braun.

“Bricks and mortar still rules, as most mobile phone purchases take place in direct supplier outlets (such as the Telstra shop), retail outlets (like Apple and Dick Smiths), and discount stores (such as Target and Kmart).”

Although this information is most useful to telco retailers in Australia, other retail businesses may want to take note of this trend too.

This is because it shows that more people are taking to the internet to inform themselves about product choices – such as reading reviews, comparing prices, or looking for more product information.

Companies that have online retailing capabilities may want to look at providing more information about their products on their websites – such as user reviews where customers can upload their own comments.

Here, companies can use customer feedback to influence other purchases and provide helpful information at the same time.