Mobiles and machines revolutionizing retails says Google


(Source: World Retail Congress Press Release | 6 April 2017)

 Retailers are struggling to keep pace with the demands of today’s smart-phone shoppers, Martijn Bertisen, director of retail & technology at Google UK told The World Retail Congress in Dubai.

He said half the world’s population now had mobiles with “more computing power than the Apollo missions to the moon” with some “bullish predictions” saying everyone would have one by 2020.

He said more than half of all Google searches today are being done via mobile devices in mature markets such as the UK and US and that 82% of all retail sales in the UK would have a “mobile touchpoint” by 2020.

Consumers in those markets used their mobiles up to 150 times a day, giving retailers plenty of opportunities to “earn their love”, Bertisen said.

“We no longer go online, we live online 24/7 and that’s an incredibly disruptive shift. It means consumer behavior is fundamentally changing and I’m not sure that most retailers are really coping with that as well as they should.”

Urging retailers to become “obsessive about speed” he said Google’s research showed half of all consumers would abandon a website taking longer than three seconds to load on their mobile.

If retailers were still struggling to keep up with the explosion in m-commerce, he warned that the next revolution in retail was already underway and being driven by machine learning.

He said one of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, for example, is now using Google BigQuery to process all of its check-out transactions within two minutes, something that used to take more than a week, enabling them to take swift decisions about stock and promotions.

“If we think about the almost infinite amount of information that we have and the vast amount of choice consumers have, the retailers that are going to win in the future will be those who make it easier for people to navigate this complex world of information overload and decide what they want.”