Mobile experience ‘clunky’ amid rise of wearables, says Google's Martijn Bertisen

Over one billion connected devices will be sold globally this year as consumer demand for “seamless connectivity” grows. As a consequence mobile will increasingly be seen as a “clunky” experience, according to Google sales director, Martijn Bertisen.

Speaking at the IAB’s final Mobile Engage conference in London today (14 May), Bertisen said the rise connected devices, most notably the smartwatch, against this backdrop is undeniable and singled out retailers as failing to stay ahead of the curve.

“Mobiles are relatively clunky whereas connected devices allow for more seamless integration,” he said. “I work with a lot with retailers, and I would disagree that they’re ready even for the simplest mobile phone.”

He suggested that very few marketers in the audience would be “proud” to show their mobile site and say that it was better than desktop. Yet the mobile “tipping point” has arrived with searches for products on mobile overtaking desktop in over 10 of the worlds most connected markets.

“Very few of you would tell me you’ve moved the majority of spend to mobile, or that there are more mobile experts than desktop in your building,” he said.

Highlighting need for a mobile experience to integrate with a bricks and mortar offering, Bertisen revealed 50 per cent of mobile consumers will visit a local store within a day after conducting research.

“Think about what will happen when we all start checking our watch,” he said.

Bertisen went on to say that with 60 per cent of consumers demanding a personalised experience, it is “almost criminal” for retailers to talk to everyone in the same voice, with the same message.

“Brands are still very much behind and the consumer is leading. How do we catch up?” he asked.

“The only way is to create a culture of true innovation. Look at Google and the arrival of chief executive Larry Page. One of his biggest focus points was how to bring the company back to being fast, nimble, innovative and that resulted in Google X where we’ve developed things like the driverless car. But not all of these innovations are big and bold, some are simple like Cardboard headsets.”

Elsewhere at Mobile Engage, IAB resident psychologist Dr Simon Hampton stressed that brands must consider psychological impact of Internet of Things or risk alienating consumers.

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