Google Predicts Biggest Online Christmas Yet in Australia

Google Australia has today released data that predicts the biggest online Christmas period for Australia thus far, and as 40 percent of shopping searches are now conducted via mobile, retailers need to be discoverable on any screen size.

This figure represents a 20 percent increase year-on-year for mobile searches, as consumers increasingly utilise smartphones to research Christmas gifts, place orders and sniff out bricks-and-mortar outlets. Overall, the number of queries from mobile devices (including tablets) has more than doubled in the last year.

“As consumers branch out from smartphones into new types of devices like tablets, the mobile revolution is expanding to multiple screens,” says Ross McDonald, Google Australia’s Industry Leader for Local & Retail. “That means the real moral of this year’s Christmas story is that retailers need to mobilise, and fast. It is no longer enough for businesses to get online–they need to be found wherever the web is, on every screen, or risk losing out.”

Highlights of the Data:

  • 1/3 Australian retailers have a mobile-friendly site, representing a large gap between the bleeding edge and laggers. This number is even smaller for small to medium businesses, meaning they are less likely to capitalise on the coming Christmas cheer.
  • 2/3 customers say mobile-friendly sites make them more likely to purchase a product or service, while 1/2 say a bad mobile experience is likely to turn them off.
  • The report also details how consumers often switch between multiple screens as they research purchases.

While these details are likely to intimidate retailers that are yet to optimise their site for mobile platforms, Google suggests they still have time to produce a basic offering for smartphones and tablets. Plenty of our Solution Providers can offer advice and technology to assist these projects, but for retailers looking for something quick and basic, Google also provides its own service. The ‘How to Go Mo‘ website is a free mobile-optimised site builder that offers a free mobile site for one year. The search company also recommends retailers consider running multi-screen advertising campaigns in order to take advantage of the shift towards mobile.

Consumers have already begun researching purchases, with Christmas shopping beginning as early as October. However, records show that the volume of retail searches will continue to swell throughout November, continuing through to Christmas Eve.

“We’ve always said that Christmas is a marathon that ends in a sprint,” says McDonald. “Businesses should build a multi-screen web presence that helps them through the race and over the finish line in top form.”

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