Australian retailers “must embrace mobile” this festive season if they want to keep up with tech-savvy consumers, Google’s head of retail says.
Google’s latest trends report showed up a 20% spike in shopping-related searches, with an unprecedented 40% coming from mobile devices.
Indeed, the number of enquiries from mobiles and tablets has more than doubled in the last 12 months, according to the report, but only one in three retailers has a mobile-tailored website.
The search engine’s retail head Ross McDonald said retailers should adapt their sites now to keep up with shifting demand patterns.
“Not having a mobile website is like operating a shop but hosing the door 40% of the time,” he said.
McDonald said if nothing else, they should make sure operating hours and location are prominently displayed.
After years of doom-and-gloom on the retail front, McDonald said 2012 looks to be a bumper year for Christmas trade.
“I am in the fortunate position at Google that I am able to say Christmas will be bigger this year for retailers than last year, and potentially bigger than the last five years,” he said.
“But retailers should certainly improve their chances by capitalising on these mobile device trends.”
Google is offering to help retailers ‘mobilise’ their websites with howtogomo.com/au, a free 12 month hosting service.
“We just want to emphasise that if retailers don’t have a mobile website, it’s not too late, with most of the searches due to ramp up in December,” McDonald said.