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Google: Businesses lagging behind mobile consumers

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The good people at Google recently released research offering insight into how Aussies use and abuse their smartphones.

According to the study, conducted in partnership with Ipsos Media CT, Australia’s smartphone penetration is now at a whopping 52% – that’s a cool 40+% growth year-on-year.

Television sets, avert your eyes! One in four study participants said they’d rather give up the idiot box than kiss their smartphone goodbye. Meanwhile, three out of four folks said they never leave home without their feature-rich mobile.

Google found that smartphones have also become the technology du jour for savvy shoppers. Sixty-five per cent of owners access the web from their smartphone on a daily basis and 94% of those quizzed said they’d researched a product or service on their device. Twenty-eight per cent have even bought a product via their smartphone.

So, Australian businesses must be all over mobile commerce like a cheap suit, right?

According to Google, not so much. The search giant’s data showed that 79% of local businesses don’t even have a mobile-optimised website. In turn, 61% of mobile users said they’d be unlikely to return to a site if the handset experience was a load of poop.

Google Australia head of mobile, Jason Pellegrino, said: “The mobile revolution isn’t ‘coming’ – it’s already happened. Mobile is no longer optional: businesses need to develop a mobile strategy now, or risk getting left behind.”

The benefits to businesses that jump on the mobile web bandwagon are significant: 86% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 88% take direct action as result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.

Google’s research also indicated that businesses should amp up their traditional marketing efforts by adding mobile to the mix. For example, 57% of smartphoners actively searched on their mobile device after seeing an ad on TV.

Pellegrino said: “Businesses should complement their online and offline ad campaigns with mobile ads to reach their target audience on all screens their audience is looking at.”

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