Google urges local sites to cater to mobile users


  • TECH
  • Friday, 28 Oct 2011

Google market 2

KUALA LUMPUR: It has become critical for local sites to be optimised for the mobile web, according to the findings of a new study by Google.

“It has become incredibly important for local businesses to think about making mobile central to their strategy,” said Google Malaysia country head Sajith Sivanandan. “The Internet Tsunami is here and it is riding on mobile.”

According to Google, 79% of large online advertisers, or four out of five Malaysian brand sites, are currently not optimised for the mobile web experience.

Sajith pointed to the research findings, which revealed that more people are using their smartphones to go online to research and purchase products and services, with 17% stating that they only have access to the Internet via their mobile device.

Of Malaysians surveyed, one in three said they would give up their television rather than their smartphone.

Forty three per cent of local smartphone users go onto the mobile Internet on a daily basis while 58% said they first access information on their smartphones and then follow up to find out more information via laptops and PCs.

The top activities by local smartphone users are browsing the Internet (41%), accessing social media networks (37%) and taking photos or videos (35%).

When shopping, 36% would browse the Internet via their smartphones for inspiration at the beginning of the process.

The country also boasts one of the largest populations of first time smartphone users (80%) along with Australia and India, and is behind only Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (over 80%).

When it came to online advertising, Sajith highlighted how 81% of people do notice ads sometimes, with search engine and in-app ads boasting the high recall rates at 50% and 36% respectively.

“What is also notable for businesses is 66% of those who did notice ads took action,” he said, adding that 36% visited the brand’s site while 6% called the business via clicking on the number listed via their phone.

Sajith noted these numbers will grow as more affordable smartphone models start hitting the market and the demand from users for services and information served via their smartphones increased.

He predicted that the current dominance of computer usage versus phones could realistically be flipped in two to three years.

“Those that missed the boat in this coming tsunami will only be swept overboard and you will find that those who do survive, are the ones who have prioritised the mobile platform,” he said.

In conjunction with the results of the study, Google has also rolled out a data resource site named OurMobilePlanet (www.ourmobileplanet.com), which provides free access to the data collected.

The site is intended to serve as an interactive tool that enables businesses and individuals to quickly perform research and create data-driven graphs.

The Global Mobile Research: The Smartphone User & the Mobile Marketer study was conducted between March and July with 30,000 respondents from 30 countries. There were 500 respondents from Malaysia.

It was conducted alongside market research company Ipsos and in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association.

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