Mobile commerce was once the domain of the brave, with major consumer concerns around security and identity. Few people would risk completing a purchase whilst on the go on their smartphone. But this was short-lived. With mobile technology infiltrating all areas of our lives, mobile commerce and 'shopping micro-moments' became the norm. In fact, today around 45% of all traffic to ecommerce websites in the UK comes from a mobile device.
What's concerning is that the UK retail industry is still missing out on a whopping £6.6bn every year by not having a mobile offering in place that matches their consumers' expectations. A great mobile web presence and optimised advertising for mobile are essential for competitive retailers.
As usual, our friends at Google are evolving the mobile shopping experience to further aid us in responding to this consumer shift. First they introduced Google Shopping - their price comparison service, complete with product listing ads that appear in their own box and encourage users to purchase direct from retailers without having to visit the website to browse first. Particular focus in Google Shopping was given to the mobile experience, with 'swipable' display ads appearing at the top of mobile search results pages - this feature is set to become even more sophisticated in the coming month with the introduction of expandable shopping ads.
Other new features to Google Shopping in mobile include 'top-rated products', whereby Google are starting to prioritise newly designed ads that have authoritative ranking scores and product ratings from users, as well as brief product information.
The latest announcement from Google came just yesterday at a press conference in New York, stating that the new feature 'Purchases on Google' will be rolled out with a dozen retail partners in the coming weeks. The big change here is the introduction of a 'Buy' button/text directly within the mobile shopping ad, which aims to massively boost mobile conversions. When clicking on 'Buy' in a mobile ad the user will be directed to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google (the retailer will still handle the order itself), where they can complete the purchase in one simple journey. The user will still be able to search other products, meaning they can browse multiple retailers from one interface.
The new feature is not yet available to all online retailers, but we'll be introducing it into client campaigns in the very near future. As a Google Partner agency we'll be sure to pass on all the latest Google Shopping updates from the horse's mouth and keep you in the loop for optimal mobile advertising.