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Mobile technology driving new retail

The value of retail purchases on mobile devices is set to increase to $5.6 billion in 2012, up from the $155 million generated by mobiles in 2010, a new report has revealed.

According to findings released as part of PayPal and eBay’s consumer discovery report, technology is blending the best of online and offline commerce to create a new type of retail with the consumer at its core.

PayPal Australia’s vice president Jeff Clementz said mobile technology is connecting consumers with products in multiple ways and retailers that guide consumers to find what they want, when they want it, will reap the benefits.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Regardless of whether the final purchase is made online or offline, technology is aiding the consumer discovery process.

About 92 percent of Aussies use a desktop to search or discover products or services, while 47 percent use smartphones and 25 percent use tablets.

EBay Australia and New Zealand vice president Deborah Sharkey said the pace of change is staggering – only 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,” she said.

According to Sharkey, the connected consumer wants personal, curated experiences relevant to them and controlled by them.

“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,” Sharkey said.

“We believe that in the future online and offline retail will increasingly complement each other and ultimately it will be the consumer that benefits,” she added.

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Ashley Calabria

Ashley Calabria

Ashley recently graduated from the University of Canberra with a degree in Journalism and is currently studying Public Policy at the University of Sydney. She enjoys travelling and hanging out with friends, and is interning with Dynamic Business.

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