MMA: Mobile is not given due credit for role in multichannel shopping, says Google’s Ian Carrington

Mobile is not getting the recognition it deserves in the multichannel path to purchase, with the result that it isn't receiving the necessary investment, according to Google’s director of mobile and social ad sales Ian Carrington.

Speaking at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)’s event in London today, for which The Drum is media partner, Carrington said the “full value” of mobile is not being addressed in the increasingly complex cross-device path to purchase, with the result that many CEOs are not increasing their mobile investment accordingly.

“There are many different types of mobile commerce. It has evolved in the purchase cycle but it is not necessarily getting the credit for it. We see 45 per cent of people research [items] on their mobiles in-store, with 20 per cent of people then changing their mind about a purchase because of checking their phone.

“It’s important to start properly understanding the value of mobile and that consumers now take a cross-devices path to purchase – mobiles help inform people in the purchase process and that is having an impact on income,” he said.

Carrington said that 37 per cent of retail queries currently come via mobile devices, while 27 per cent of travel queries are made via mobile. Around 35 per cent of searches in the entertainment sector are made on mobile, with 27 per cent in finance. “This trend will only continue, and we will see what we call a query flip, when smartphone queries overtake desktop,” he said.

He called for companies to better monitor different ways of capturing mobile conversions, including in-store – when mobile “validates” the purchase to buy; tracking conversions made by phone calls, and also monitoring the purchase behaviours of people who buy within apps compared to other channels.

“Apps are a primary way of buying for many, but I don’t see many companies understanding the lifetime value of a person using an app. For example they should be thinking of the frequency of purchases – whether it’s more or less regular than a non-app purchase, or if their basket value is higher,” he added.

Carrington said search, and therefor mobile by extension, is the “heartbeat” of the web, and will be core to Google’s future developments. The search giant’s recent SEO algorithm overhaul, called Hummingbird, will usher in a new era of “contextual search”, according to Carrington.

He also advised that companies only develop strategies six to 12 months in advance, because the advent of the likes of Google Glass and Smartwatches were set to “change everything”.

Mobile video is another area of growth, with 40 per cent of YouTube views now on mobile, according to Google.

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