Mobile technology driving new retail and aiding consumer discovery

Press Release

Mobile penetration in Australia is experiencing rapid growth. Technological innovation coupled with behavioural shifts is set to drive $5.6 billion worth of retail purchases by consumers on mobile devices in 2012, up from $155 million in 2010[1]. According to findings released today as part of PayPal and eBay's report 'Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery', technology is blending the best of offline and online commerce to create a new type of retail with the consumer at its heart.

Developed in conjunction with Nielsen and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS), the report reveals how mobile technology is driving dramatic change to the path to purchase, connecting consumers with products in multiple ways. And how, for retailers, the future is about playing a role in aiding consumer discovery - helping consumers find what they want, when they want it be it online or in store.

Technology Aiding Consumer Discovery

Regardless of the final purchase location (online or offline), technology is aiding the consumer discovery process with Australians using desktop (92%), smartphones (47%) and tablets (25%) to search and discover products and services[2]. While desktop remains the most dominant screen that Australians use for discovery, eBay data shows consumers are more engaged on mobile screens. Australian consumers are visiting more often and spending more time in total on an iPad than through the desktop. An item is purchased on via a mobile every two seconds.

According to the PayPal and eBay research conducted by Nielsen, smaller, more portable and accessible devices like smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity as a shopping companion in all environments, including in store. Australian consumers are increasingly using mobile devices while they are out shopping for price comparisons, locating retailers, reading reviews, and checking product availability. And, with PayPal's point of sale payment announcement today, they can now make purchases in store via their phone.

Jeff Clementz, Vice President, PayPal Australia said: "The ritual of visiting shops, trying on clothes, and interacting with sales people is not dying, but how people get to your shop and what represents value and convenience - this is changing and technology is enabling it. The research today shows that Australians are increasingly starting their shopping journey online and then buying offline so it's imperative for retailers to have a presence at every stage of the path to purchase. We believe the retailers that understand discovery and take time to understand their customers' behaviours will enjoy the benefits."

The sources of discovery are varied with 'search engines' (62%), 'eBay' (45%) and 'typed in the URL' (37%) being the most popular destinations for Australians to start their path to purchase online[3]. Today's research also revealed that online discovery has resulted in purchase both online and offline amongst 95% of Australians[4].

Deborah Sharkey, Vice President, eBay Australia and New Zealand said: "Retail is increasingly multichannel. A few years ago mobile commerce was a novelty concept. Today our apps have been downloaded more than 100 million times around the world, and we can expect more than $10 billion worth of goods to be transacted on eBay mobile apps by the time Christmas 2012 is through. The pace of change is staggering. We will continue to invest heavily in mobile innovation so that our retailers can leverage our mobile platforms to connect with consumers throughout their discovery process."

New Retail is Personal

The report released today discusses how offline and online seamlessly integrated into a better shopping experience creates a new retail paradigm. At the core of new retail and the future of commerce is personalisation. The connected consumer wants personal, curated experiences relevant to them and controlled by them. For retailers, the future is about utilising data to take customers from unknown to known in order to provide them with personal shopping experiences both online and in store.

"As the retail industry undergoes change the opportunity for PayPal is to provide our partners with products and services to help them address the needs of new retail. Our focus is to innovate at point of sale - wherever that is. Connected devices make it easy to engage with consumers on the go, in store, or at check-out. Drawing on the power of the cloud we are working to connect the owners of our 4.6 million Australian accounts with retailers of all sizes," said Jeff Clementz, Vice President, PayPal Australia.

According to the 'Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery' report, the future of shopping isn't just about transactions, it's about people. Understanding them and customising each experience based on who the shopper is, not just what they buy.

"When used in the right way data is immensely powerful. Consumers want retailers to have their data so that they can deliver them richer, deeper, more personalised discovery experiences. We believe that in the future online and offline retail will increasingly complement each other and ultimately it will be the consumer that benefits," said Deborah Sharkey, Vice President, eBay Australia and New Zealand.

To download the full ‘Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery’ click here.