Retailers Urged to Leverage Google Places

David Murphy

Mobile is the fastest growing area of search marketing and should be top of the agenda for retailers looking to boost sales, according to search and social media firm e-mphasis, and retail group Aurora Fashions.

At a recent Retail Breakfast event staged jointly by the companies in London, Hash Ladha, group multichannel director for Aurora Fashions, home of brands such as of Karen Millen, Warehouse, Coast and Oasis, challenged retailers to wake up to mCommerce, saying that for over five years, mobile has been threatening to take off, and now it really is.

“Mobile consumers are online shoppers with a different mindset and retailers have been trying to replicate the online experience on mobile, but like anything that is emerging the parameters are constantly changing,” said Ladha.

Ladha’s thoughts were echoed by e-mphasis managing director, Andrew Rayner, who confirmed that mobile is the fastest growing area of search. “9 per cent of all browsing traffic on mobile is reported to have come from Google searches, but perhaps the greatest thing for retailers is that Google can identify where mobile searchers are located,” said Rayner. “Savvy retailers can utilise the business listings facility on Google to leverage search, providing the consumer with access to the multiple channels they offer. The beauty of this is that when this happens on a mobile device, it gives the consumer what they want, when they want it and conveniently for their location.”

Rayner revealed that e-mphasis has demonstrated that this listings facility, better known as Google Places, can be optimised to improve the discoverability of retail outlets. “e-mphasis’ Google Places Optimisation (GPO), is a technique that should be embedded in every retailers search marketing strategy. With GPO, retailers can steal a march on their competition, particularly those who have not yet embraced the importance of search marketing at the local level, on both desktop and mobile.

“Having a local search positioning is a wide open opportunity for retailers seeking increased market share. Google knows where customers are searching and recommends the places nearest to them matching the search terms used. Local places to shop are the most convenient for the customer, since they provide on opportunity to evaluate the product in person, but it is also convenient for after care, returning the product etc. Local really has a future in successful search marketing for retailers.”