‘M-Comm Revolution’: Retails Gravy Train?

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Tabs, smartphones, M-comm: the time is nigh for Aussie retail, says Google retail boss.

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2012 will be “Australia’s biggest online Christmas yet” Google predicted today, as it emerged a whopping 40% of shopping searches on Google OZ come from smartphones or tablets like the iPad.

“Aussies still want to shop at local retailers” and Google search data clearly shows 75% of searches is for local retailers, Ross McDonald, Google Australia’s Industry Leader for Local & Retail told Channel News.

“Consumers want to shop locally but go overseas as they can’t find the retailers with the products they want”

“The opportunity is there for local retailers to service.”

And what role does price play in attracting the bargain hungry Aussie consumer to local sites?

Price is important but it’s only one part of a “bundle of reasons” why consumers choose one – service, warranty and convenience also play a key role, says the Google exec.

But amid all this e-comm and m-comm, “the biggest thing for retailers is to be found” he warns, in particular in the weeks prior to Christmas when searches for retailers and products rocket.

But isn’t having a website optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop pretty cumbersome for smaller retailers?

It can be, but modern e-commerce systems usually work out the type of device a consumer has and adapts, says McDonald, although he notes SMEs may not have access to such new technologies.

“It can be tricky to work out mobile sites,” but Google’s new service, Ready to GoMo, helps even the smallest player to go mobile, free of charge.

“The service takes less than an hour to set up and well worth the time,” says the Google retail guru.

So are more Aussies searching on tabs or smarties?

“There are many, many more smartphones out there than tabs at the moment,” so the mobile is still ahead.

 But not for long.

“The time isn’t far way before tablet searches exceed smartphones”, says McDonald, adding many analysts believe this will occur in 2014.

 

In fact, a jaw dropping one million mobile devices will be turned on between now and Christmas in Australia, McDonald predicts.

However, desktop searches is also growing but mobile is growing “much faster.”

Recent NAB figures show e-commerce among Aussie retailers has risen 20% year-on-year, totalling $220 billion at June 2012.

“All data sources point in the same direction- that online retail is growing.”

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