Google predicts online shopping growth

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th November 2011

Google Australia predicts strong growth for online presence of food and drink retail in Australia. Today, it offered advice to Australian retailers with an online presence as the market gears up for the holiday season.

According to Google Australia’s figures, 31 per cent of online “Christmas” specific searches during 2011 involve the food and drink retail sector.

Google Australia & New Zealand’s Head of Retail, Ross McDonald said today, “Over the next five weeks shopping-related search traffic is really going to accelerate.”

Mr McDonald offered three tips for Australian retailers who are reviewing their online ad strategies for the Christmas season:

  1. Be ready for mobile: Mobile shopping searches have risen 220 per cent year over year. All retailers should be ready with mobile-friendly websites that prominently display store hours and locations to accommodate people looking for their stores on mobile. Already, over 30 per cent of such searches come from mobile, and we expect that number to rise further during the crucial last 14 days of Christmas.
  2. Review your search advertising budget and timing: Santa brings a big increase in shopping search traffic – make sure you don’t run out of search advertising budget too early in the day. Last year, some Google advertisers used up their daily search advertising budgets only one third of the way into the Christmas trading day because their daily advertising budgets were the same as the middle of the summer. That’s like forgetting to put your most popular product out on shelves during the busiest season of the year.
  3. Anticipate key shopping days: Try to anticipate when your customers will be researching and buying gifts online and when they’ll be looking for stores. For example, if you’re a large retailer you may want to focus your search advertisements on e-commerce queries until mid-December and then shift to advertisements featuring in-store promotions, maps, and trading hours thereafter.

Mr McDonald said that, over the past few years, a distinctive search pattern has evolved around the Christmas season.

“During the first week of December, shipping windows for international online retailers traditionally close and searches for domestic online retailers rise,” he said. “Two weeks before Christmas, searches for store names plus ‘trading hours’ or ‘location’ begin to rise dramatically.

“Around December 16th, the last day Australia’s online retailers can guarantee delivery before December 25 and the last in-store retail weekend before Christmas, you can see another big spike in searches for store name plus ‘hours’ and ‘location’,” Mr McDonald said.

Google stands to gain from greater usage of internet retail applications. As the leading internet search engine and as developer of Android, Google stands to benefit from these trends it is publicizing.