By Aimee Chanthadavong

Mobile devices are expected to be the space to watch this year as it is increasingly playing a large role in online shopping and pre-shopping research, according to pre-shop site

Fifteen million catalogue pages were viewed on consumer mobile devices using Lasoo's mobile application in the Christmas season. The most popular device used was the Apple iPhone, followed by the iPad, Android App and Windows 7 devices.

Speaking to a group of analysts, Paul Marshall, Lasoo executive general manager, said mobile devices are being used both out and about as a negotiation tool at point-of-sale but many are also used at home.

“There’s some who are watching mainstream TV and are using Google as a search engine but are coming to Lasoo to help influence their purchasing behaviour,” he said.

“People don’t shop with a retailer in mind, they often search for a product, such a general product like nappies or an LCD TV or a branded product.”

Lasoo also recorded 5.6 million product interactions in December last year, showing that Australian consumers have an appetite for online research prior to purchasing

Marshall also noted that 74 per cent of Australians said they shop online, particularly offshore, because it’s convenient.

“The retail rally on overseas merchant in trying to wrap up the debate that GST was responsible for a lot of those offshore purchases is not really the case. Research shows that people are moving from offline to offshore for other reasons other than GST,” he said.

“In light of that, Australian consumers want to buy from Australian retailers and that research was done by ACMA, which showed that more than two thirds would prefer to buy from Australian retailers to support the local industry.”

Lasoo noted that there are a number of contributing reasons as to why Australian retailers are loosing out to international online stores.

“What are we missing out on? The key thing is Australian merchants aren’t really playing the game. They either don’t have the capabilities, the range, the product and price still remains the issue. They need to address their online strategy not only their e-commerce but their marketing strategy,” Marshall said.

Additionally, Lasoo has predicted that content, e-commerce, multi-channel integration, customer interaction and return on investments will be other key shopping trends this year.