Smartphones the 'new frontier of commerce': Google

Smartphones the 'new frontier of commerce': Google

Search giant identifies key trends in today’s e-commerce and the growing role of smartphones

Google commerce managing director, Tyler Hoffman

Google commerce managing director, Tyler Hoffman

More innovation in the e-commerce space will take place in the next 10 years than in the entire history of the Internet, according to Google.

In his keynote speech at the Online Retailer Conference and E-Commerce Expo in Sydney, Google commerce managing director, Tyler Hoffman, spoke about the recent trends taking place in e-commerce, as well as the opportunities Google sees in the space.

While Hoffman admits that certain brick-and-mortar retailers, such as music and book stores, have been hit hard in the wake of the Internet explosion, other sectors have remained intact and have seen new avenues open up with the Internet.

Smartphones in particular have created interesting opportunities for e-tailing, with Hoffman quoting statistics that users are no more than a metre from their device, they tend to check it 40 times a day, two out of three have it on their bedside table, one out of four admit to using it in the bathroom, and 125 years of time is spent playing the Angry Birds game.

With numbers such as those, Google is not surprised that 79 per cent use their smartphones for shopping and 70 per cent use the device in brick-and-mortar stores.

“The smartphone has created a new frontier of commerce,” Hoffman said.

One innovation Google hopes to see implemented is browsing of local inventory with the help of location services on the smartphone, thus allowing users to shop locally.

To capitalise on these opportunities in the mobile e-tailing space, Google has already rolled out its Google Catalogs app to provide users with an interactive way to browse their favorite catalogs on a tablet, as well as its Google Product Search web site that has been formatted for smartphone devices.

Google has also heavily invested in its Google Wallet technology, which is designed to allow Android device users to search, find, and pay for products and services electronically with their smartphone, eliminating the need for the traditional currency and credit cards.

Hoffman announced that Google Wallet has just been rolled out in the US, though no date for Australia was mentioned.

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Tags smartphonesGooglemobile solutionsGoogle WalletOnline Retailer Conference and E-Commerce Expo

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