Often linked with the emergence of modernity, the Renaissance period marked a significant cultural shift. It was a time when people let go of old customs and traditions and embraced new ideas, many of which continue to shape our world today.

Australia’s retail industry is in the midst of navigating its own Renaissance period, as traditional shopping experiences face disruption thanks to emerging technologies and changing customer expectations. Consider these four key trends to improve shopper experience, business efficiency and move into the upcoming era.

1. Leveraging payments data for loyalty

Consumers are keen to engage more with the brands they buy from – especially when there’s a customised experience on the table. Yet, despite growing consumer sentiment for personalisation, 28% of Australian businesses lack the technology to truly personalise the customer experience across channels.

Brands can foster customer loyalty by integrating online and offline channels for personalised experiences. Our research shows a trend of businesses using first-party payments data from linked in-store and online transactions. This secure, data-driven approach aids businesses in creating targeted marketing campaigns and personalised promotions that truly resonate with their audience.

2. Tokenisation: Enhancing security and operational efficiencies

Tokenisation, the secure exchange of sensitive card information with non-sensitive data, is becoming pivotal in Australia’s payment landscape. At Adyen, we’re at the forefront, with 2 billion active network tokens on our platform.

Poised to improve customer experience and business benefits, tokenisation is constantly evolving with card networks and issuers adopting network tokens and moving towards card-not-present methods. Eftpos tokenisation is set to significantly diversify payment methods in Australia, where card usage is prevalent.

Prompted by recent fraud incidents, businesses are intensifying their focus on security and fraud prevention. Tokenisation offers cost-effective, secure payments, uninterrupted billing, and reduced backend operations, making it attractive for digital and subscription model businesses.

3. Mobile in-person payment devices

Portable in-person payment devices are transforming in-store transactions. Evolving shopping habits, accelerated by the pandemic, are reshaping consumer expectations at checkout. The 2024 Adyen Retail Index reveals that more than 3 in 5 (61%) Australian shoppers would leave a store if they can’t use their preferred payment method.

Mobile payment devices offer businesses improved flexibility and efficiency, transforming the overall checkout experience. Our 2024 Retail Index also shows that nearly 1 in 3 (29%) Australian shoppers appreciate the faster shopping experience provided by this technology.

By replacing traditional cashier stations, portable payment terminals empower businesses to redesign store layouts into customer-centric spaces. Australian footwear brand R.M. Williams exemplifies this shift, blending digital and physical experiences to elevate the checkout process. The shift towards physical stores as “experience centres” is also seen across Asia-Pacific, with businesses using these devices for more immersive shopping.

4. The evolution of platforms with embedded payments

The surge of platform business models, particularly for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), has been game changing. Platforms such as marketplaces, are meeting the demand for efficiency by integrating payment solutions within them, unveiling new revenue streams and bolstering customer loyalty.

Our research with Boston Consulting Group reveals that 59% of Australian SMBs are interested in platform-embedded financial services, and 90% believe pre-approved business loans would be beneficial.

By embracing embedded payments, local businesses are paving the way for improved operational efficiency, cost reductions, quicker payouts, and a smoother payment experience for customers.

Embedded financial solutions are not merely a trend, they are a strategic integration that unlocks new revenue and keeps platforms competitive, delivering unmatched value to users.

Refining your payments strategy for growth

It remains a pivotal time for Australian retailers and seizing the opportunity to leverage payment trends and emerging technology isn’t just advantageous—it’s imperative. Just as Renaissance thinkers discarded old norms in favour of new ideas, today’s retailers must embrace innovation to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape.

By embracing these payment trends, retailers position themselves to anticipate the future and strategically navigate the challenges ahead, whether it’s adapting to evolving customer needs, safeguarding against fraud, or crafting bespoke experiences.

These strategies will serve as the cornerstone of competitive advantage, ensuring retailers remain at the forefront of innovation and customer satisfaction.

Hayley Fisher is country manager for Australia & New Zealand at Adyen.