By Aimee Chanthadavong

Three years ago mobile technology was in its infancy and retailers were still grappling with the idea of ecommerce. Now, retailers are now allowing consumers to shop on their mobile, pay with their mobile devices in-store, buy online and pick up in-store and even order ahead before they arrive to their destination.

According to a new report by Paypal Australia ‘Secure Insight: Capturing Digital Spend’ since 2010, the online retail market has grown at 11 per cent year-on-year to $36.8 billion, compared to 2-3 per cent year-on-year growth in overall retail and mobile payments have grown by more than 5,000 per cent.

Paypal Australia managing director Jeff Clementz said technology has driven a deep structural change in Australian retail.

“Where once there were few retailers that could truly be called omni-channel, today there are many connecting with consumers in-store, online and on the go,” he said.

“At our first Secure Insight event the discussion was focused on enabling ecommerce and how Australian retailers needed to take advantage of the emerging online channel. In the past three years the Australian retail industry has embraced change and the conversation has now evolved to centre on powering solutions for the technology enabled consumer.”

In the report, Paypal predicts the next phase the future of payments will be driven by the innovation at the point of sale.

Paypal Australia senior director of SMB, retail and strategy Andrew Rechtman, said in the next three to five years, both front-end software on the register and back-end software for inventory, CRM, financials and supply chain management will evolve dramatically, alluding that the changes will be driven by cloud solutions, omnichannel, big data and sales empowerment and management.

“Point of sale is set to undergo profound transformation in the next several years, due to the intertwined drivers of mobile device and sensor proliferation, the transition of back-office systems to the cloud, the emergence of new customer and merchant experiences that will be created by developers, and the resulting rapid changes in consumer behavior.

“These changes will occur against a backdrop of innovation in underlying POS operations, especially the emergence of data-driven business models, which represents a significant shift for the industry.”

As a result, retailers will be able to create more personalised customer experiences. These opportunities may include interacting with consumers throughout a store floor; providing context-aware customer interactions; gratifying consumers with creative loyalty reward programs; and enabling authentication mechanisms such as visual identification of the customer, voice recognition and biometrics.

Paypal said it is committed on delivering technology to help further drive this next phase of point of sale solution. The company recently released Paypal Beacon, which provides customers the ability to complete a transaction hands-free without having to take their wallet or phone out of their pocket.

“As we continue to innovate at scale and evolve technology at the point of sale, PayPal is committed to helping Australian retailers make sense of the technological clutter, integrating solutions that deliver economic benefit and drive unique consumer experiences,” Clementz said.