Google: Get Ready for Mobile Holiday Shoppers Now

Black Friday is still several weeks away, but Google is telling webmasters to prepare starting immediately. Beyond increased mobile searches and higher mobile ad actions, more mobile users are starting their shopping early.

The Rise of Mobile Action

Google has compiled forecasts about this holiday season using historical growth rates. Of greatest note are the statistics that:

  • 15 percebt of “Black Friday” searches will be from tablets or smartphones.
  • 44 percent of searches for store locations and last minute gifts will come from tablets or smartphones.
  • 65 percent of smartphone and tablet users report having located and purchased an item at a brick-and-mortar store using their mobile device.
  • More than a third of high-end mobile device users intend on starting their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

But Google isn't the only group to witness the increased actions of mobile users. Millennial Media's 50th report gives details on the dramatic increase in affirmative user actions after clicking on a mobile ad:

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Downloading, enrolling, visiting, and calling are all way up. While we can blame at least some of that on more creativity and tools from mobile marketers (click-to-call, video, and app advertisements are fairly recent inventions), at least a good chunk comes from user behaviors.

Further, an eBay report indicated that mobile users aren't just active – they're big spenders. Tablet users spend 50 percent more than their PC-using equivalent, according to the report.

What it Means for Marketers

Mobile optimization is a big topic, but the forecasts and studies cited above bring up some items worth keeping in mind.

First, brick-and-mortar locations should keep mobile optimization and mobile advertising high on their list. Users are not only willing to engage in action with brick-and-mortar location, but in the last week before Christmas – when there's a second mobile shopping rush – they're actively trying to.

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Second, mobile optimization for non-standard platforms – videos, app downloads, and so forth – are showing as effective. Those who haven't experimented yet would do well to test the waters of this new territory.

And last, Google's not kidding: With so many shoppers aiming for pre-Thanksgiving buys, the time is now to get moving on mobile optimization.