Aussie stores miss mobile business: Google

Summary:Australian businesses are losing out on sales this Christmas season because they don't have a mobile-friendly version of their store online for smartphone-based e-commerce. That's the message coming out of Google's recent retail research, at least.

Australian businesses are losing out on sales this Christmas season because they don't have a mobile-friendly version of their store online for smartphone-based e-commerce. That's the message coming out of Google's recent retail research, at least.

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Google has found one quarter of Australian retail inquiries are now coming from mobile devices. The problem, however, lies with the businesses, Google estimates, with 80 per cent of them not having a "mobile-friendly website".

Google Australia's head of retail, Ross McDonald, says it's tantamount to ignoring every fourth customer that wanders into a store.

"If you asked a business owner whether she'd ignore every fourth customer to walk in her shop this Christmas season, the answer would certainly be no.

"But with 25 per cent of Christmas shopping-related queries coming in on mobile, not having a mobile website is basically the same thing. The missed potential is huge," McDonald said in a statement today.

McDonald added that it isn't too late for businesses to get online, with some shoppers buying their Christmas gifts at the very last minute.

"The Christmas shopping season is a marathon that ends in a sprint. People make last-minute decisions, which means we see consumers searching for gifts right up to Christmas Eve. The good news is it's not too late to be early," he said.

Google has been part of an initiative to get Australian businesses online for some time now, working in tandem with the MYOB to give offline retail an online boost.

Topics: Google, E-Commerce

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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