The week before Christmas is the peak period for mobile shopping searches, new Google data shows, while findings from PayPal and eBay show mobile is increasingly aiding the “consumer discovery process”.
According to Google Australia, which has released findings on retail trends for Christmas, 2012 will go down in history as Australia’s biggest online Christmas yet.
Google reported an overall 20% increase in shopping-related searches over the year as Christmas shoppers take to the web to research gift ideas, place orders, and seek out retail outlets and shops.
Without a doubt, the season’s biggest opportunity is mobile. Nearly 40% of shopping-related Google searches now come from smartphones or tablets.
Overall, the number of queries coming from mobile devices has more than doubled over the past 12 months.
According to Google, two in three customers are more likely to purchase or use a good or service from a mobile-friendly site, while half are less likely to engage with a company if they have a bad mobile experience.
While consumers begin researching purchases in October, historical Google data predicts retail searches will rapidly accelerate through November and will continue until Christmas Eve.
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Mobile shopping searches peak the week before Christmas, according to Google, as consumers use their smartphones to seek out retail outlets selling last-minute gifts.
“Christmas is a marathon that ends in a sprint,” Google Australia’s Ross McDonald said in a statement.
“Businesses should build a multi-screen web presence that helps them through the race and over the finish line in top form.”
Meanwhile, new findings from PayPal and eBay show technological innovation, coupled with behavioural shifts, is set to drive $5.6 billion worth of purchases on mobile devices in 2012.
This figure is up from $155 million in 2010.
The findings were released as part of a report titled Secure Insight: Consumer Discovery, developed in conjunction with Nielsen and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies.
The report shows technology is aiding the “consumer discovery process”, with Australians using desktop (92%), smartphones (47%) and tablets (25%) to discover products and services.
While desktop remains the dominant screen Australians use for discovery, eBay data shows consumers are more engaged on mobile screens.
According to eBay, consumers spend more time in total on an iPad than on a desktop.
Sources of discovery include search engines (62%), eBay (45%), and “typed in the URL” (37%). These are the most popular destinations for Australians to start their path to purchase online.
The research also reveals online discovery has resulted in a purchase both online and offline amongst 95% of Australians.
“The ritual of visiting shops, trying on clothes and interacting with salespeople is not dying,” PayPal’s Jeff Clementz said in a statement.
“But how people get to your shop, and what represents value and convenience, that is changing and technology is enabling it.”
“Australians are increasingly starting their shopping journey online and then buying offline so it’s imperative for retailers to have a presence at every stage of the path to purchase.”