Rating: Mobile search volumes increased 216% says BRC
The Online Retail Monitor for Q2 2011 – put together by the British Retail Consortium and Google – found that total retail search volumes had grown by 27 per cent compared with Q2 2010. The increase was driven by a rise in mobile search volumes of 216 per cent year-on-year. Interestingly, London comprised 36 per cent of all retail search volumes in the UK. The findings have caused Simon Walker, director for product management with Stibo Systems to warn that this rise clearly demonstrate that retailers cannot afford to ignore the power of mobile. “A 216 per cent rise in the past year shows how customer habits are changing and should come as a warning call to retailers. Customers are increasingly turning to mobile and tablet devices as part of a general lifestyle shift towards digital,” Walker commented.What’s his solution? Walker believes that, “Companies need to ensure not only that their websites are mobile-friendly, but that their content is consistent across all channels, in order to avoid haemorrhaging customers.”
“While the retail sector as a whole is going through a difficult period, the boom in online retail continues,” explained Stephen Robertson, director general with the British Retail Consortium.
“The star performer is mobile, with the number of retail searches being carried out on smart phones and tablets more than trebling for this quarter compared with the same period last year.
He continued, “Consumers are always looking for more convenient ways to shop. Retailers are making m-commerce easier all the time by offering mobile optimised websites, apps and transactional mobile platforms.”
Interestingly from a retail perspective was the fact that the Top Apparel searches in Q2 included wedding dresses as the UK entered the wedding season, while garden furniture featured among the top searches in the Home category.
“Mobile searches remained constant throughout the quarter, largely unaffected by the changing temperatures,” revealed Peter Fitzgerald, retail director, with Google. “This is unsurprising given the ‘always on’ nature of mobile users,” he said.
“While it is great that mobile and tablet searches remain constant (unlike in-store purchases), without detailed product information and real-time updates, retailers risk losing customer trust and loyalty,”Stibo’s Simon Walker explained.
“A poor website with lack of product information could deter consumers from making a purchase and can potentially have a negative impact on the bottom line of a retailers’ business,” he continued.
Being a leading supplier of product information management software, Sibo Systems can help – naturally.
If retailers are able to provide good mobile websites, with detailed, consistent product information and good search capabilities, it is likely that the number of retail searches will continue to rise,” Walker concluded.
The full figures from the BRC/Google can be found here.