MELBOURNE: Half of online purchases in Australia are carried out across multiple devices, new research has revealed.

For customers shopping from a computer, 39% of buyers are likely to use at least one additional device during the purchase process, according to a Criteo study reported by B&T Magazine.

For shoppers on mobile, 43% of smartphone users and 47% of tablet users will use an additional device.

The study, which analysed 1.4bn online purchases, showed that brands which invested in e-commerce services early on are now reaping the rewards.

Specialised apps are the most popular pathway for consumers as they make travel arrangements or shop on-the-go. For retail brands, brands with an app-first approach to mobile sales generated nearly 58% of revenue from the app, heavily outperforming their desktop revenue streams.

Trend data indicates that app-first revenue is growing quickly, even on a quarter-to-quarter level.

For travel brands that prioritise app-based activity, 49%% of mobile sales revenue comes this way. Consumer brands yet to invest in mobile need to consider adapting their ad spend to match this quickly evolving consumer landscape.

"With app conversion rates dominating over mobile browsers globally, Australian brands who make their apps a priority focus will remain one step ahead of the competition," said Jeremy Crooks, managing director of Criteo in Australia and New Zealand.

"Mobile continues to play a huge role in the customer's cross-device shopping journey, and marketers looking to compete in a crowded e-commerce arena, boost customer loyalty and drive sales, will need to invest and target accordingly."

Research by Pitney Bowes has shown that Australia is the top country for online shopping. Nearly two thirds (63%) of Australians are willing to buy products online.

Data sourced from B&T, T&L News; additional content by Warc staff