Five big predictions for Australia’s shopping future
Last year we saw many major issues emerge in the technology sector. In 2012 we saw Facebook launch its IPO and surpass one billion users for the first time; Apple became the most valuable public company of all time and launched its iPad mini and iPhone 5.
Microsoft launched Windows 8 and its tablet Surface; the internet went black in protest controversial proposed US online anti-privacy laws, known as Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa); and Google’s operating system for phone, Android, continued its dominance helped with the launch of the Galaxy S3 by Samsung.
All these technological advances have also played a pivotal role in how we transact and engage in commerce. As we come to close to another year, it’s worth pondering some of the big issues in the technology/commerce space for 2013. Here are some of my predictions:
Australia to have the leading smartphone penetration in the world
Depending on statistics these vary, some saying Australia is a close second to Singapore in smartphone penetration. According to PayPal’s Secure Insights Report November 2012, smartphone penetration in Australia was predicted to reach 64% by the end of 2012. Australia is well positioned to be a world leader this year.
Tablet the new way to shop
Up to 40% of Australian households own a tablet device. The shopping experience through a tablet device is becoming increasing consumer friendly, with sophisticated retail players offering apps specifically for a tablet device. The proportion of Australians transacting on mobile devices has seen strong growth over the past 18 months. In January 2011, 12% of Australians were transacting on mobile devices; now 32%.
A new retail player enters the Australian market
There has been much speculation about a new retail player entering Australian shores, one that already operates here through its web services, and best known for its e-books. This company is one of the leading online marketplaces in the world and can significantly alter the local landscape.
Big data the new oil
Many commentators have described the use of big data as potentially the new oil. What is big data? Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional applications. How companies can use and manipulate data to meet specific needs has been dubbed as the new oil. Think about some of the reward schemes offered by supermarkets, while as a consumer you may benefit through discounts, the company is able to collect specific data about your shopping habits therefore better able to analyse and provide goods that meets consumer needs. Some online stores have the ability to track consumer behaviour very effectively, those able to harness these methods, while respecting consumer privacy, will have an edge in the commerce sector for 2013.
Smartphone to become your wallet
Increasingly the smartphone will become your electronic wallet. You can already use your smart phone to make payments, bar code scanning, store loyalty cards, coffee cards, even your beloved photos. The other day when I purchased my movie tickets online, I didn’t bother printing my electronic ticket, I simply turned up at the counter with the bar code on my smartphone. As more people realise the capability of their phones, the more will use their phone just as they use their wallet.
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