Google ramps up mobile ad offer

Google is to introduce a range of mobile ad solutions for retailers to encourage shoppers back on to the high street.

The search giant is offering new targeting options, such as ads that are served specifically to newly activated mobiles and hyperlocal packages that include expandable maps and driving directions, to help retailers drive footfall and facilitate consumers’ shopping research.

Proximity became a factor in Google’s mobile search ads ranking in October. The change means it is now a priority for businesses to link their mobile campaigns to their physical retail outlets in order to get the most exposure.

Google research found that 24% of UK consumers are using their mobiles for in-store comparison and that 44% of global searches for last minute gifts and store locations in 2011 were conducted via mobile devices.

Google’s head of mobile for EMEA Ian Carrington says that retailers need to drastically improve their mobile offerings, by adding services such as customer reviews, opt-in preference-based advertising and deals, to attract people into their stores.

“At the moment retailers need to make the in-store experience for consumers very magical. Mobile can empower consumers by giving them the local aspect, extra information [on products] and choice,” Carrington adds.

Google’s efforts come as a report by technology solutions company QuBit claims that “poor” mobile web strategies mean UK retailers are collectively missing out on as much as £4bn in revenue.

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