At the October 2017 Google Breakfast Breifing, we were very privelaged to be addressed by Brian Brady who recenty rejoined Google having spent some time with AdRoll. His wealth of knoladge and passion for the online retial industry was demonstrated in the energy that he put into the presentation.
The topic of the Google Breakfast Briefing was “Winning the moments that matter for your business this Retail season, with Google” – I have to admit, I did have a little aggravated twitch when they used the words ‘;season’ rather than just ‘Christmas’, but I have to remind myself how American the Ireland based Google HQ is. – I’ve been to a numeric of these Briefings and I found that this one was very valuable as Brian’s knowledge seemed to be rooted in the business development and progression side having been away from Google for several years.
Key take Aways from October 2017 Google Breakfast Briefing
Mobile Retail is Increasing
60% of consumers are researching products online before they are purchasing, this can lead to the customer knowing more than the sales staff that are in store.
Worryingly in the US there has been a 55% decline in store foot fall, however because of online research stores are seeing two times the amount spent on the average order value when the sale does come in. This makes sense from the traditional “Consumer Decision Making Process’ developed by Engel, Blackwell and Kollat in (1968), the higher the purchase value the more information will be gathered before committing, the internet provides this information on an immense scale.
One statistic that is probably not surprising is that 87% are now turning to search in moments of need. This will be highly familiar with all of us who are using phrases such as ‘I must Google that’ and we will often consult Google before our doctors when we or our loved ones are sick.
Emphasis on Mobile and Mobile Speed
As with all the previous Briefings there was an emphasis on Mobile response time. Mobile browsing and usage is increasing at a rapid rate, in October 2016, StatCounter reported that for the very first time Mobile browsing surpassed desktop hitting 51.3 per cent vs. 48.7 per cent. In the ‘Need for Speed’ report by Double Click, the importance op load time has been significantly highlighted with 53% of mobile site visits being abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. The abandonment rate increases significantly as load time increases.
Brian further highlighted the importance of this with retailers seeing a 27% increase in revenue from ‘Google Shopping’ which was finally launched in Ireland January 2017. Your customers can search for the most obscure things and Brian suggests you add your full offering on to the platform.
Speed on mobile has been hampered by designers and marketers alike, stunning desktop designs are cumbersome on mobile browsers and not friendly to mobile internet services. 75% of websites take 10 seconds to load – Page Speed = Money and a one second delay can mean you loose out on 7% of conversions.
Amazon have committed to improving their mobile load time and are aiming to have all pages load in one second or under on mobile browsers. This is a significant threat to all retailers.
Brian suggests two simple but effective solutions to the page speed load time. First reduce the size of your images and second ask your developers to focus on Speed Index, this is the average time at which visible parts of the page are displayed. You need to ensure that your pages load above the fold first and the most imortant parts, such as menus and call to action buttons etc.
Educate and Drive Sales With YouTube
Most of the Google Breakfast Briefings I’ve been to have had a significant focus on pushing Google AdWords, however Brian suggested YouTube this time. With 17 billion global fashion views on YouTube this year, retailers need to focus on displaying their wares on the platform. How to videos and vlogger reviews are becoming increasingly popular and we see similar interest in video across other social platforms.
Brexit Worry Index
Finally what would any retail related topic be without mentioning Brexit. Brian recommends that we start to tool up for Brexit as there are increased financial concerns surrounding Brexit. With the decreasing value in the British pound and the likelihood of this dropping to the floor when Brexit happens, we as Irish retailers need to be prepared. We need to embrace, fix and focus on our online presence and become more visible though our mobile and SEO efforts to Irish customers if we are to compete with the Global reach of online retail.