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Google App Search Indexing

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Google App Search Indexing

Google has recently overcome one of the big challenges for search engines - the ability to see and index content contained only within apps which have no web counterpart. 

Google started indexing the content from apps two years ago and now have over 100 billion deep links into apps in their index, including popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb and Pinterest. Google report that 40% of searches that people complete on Android devices surface app content.

The ability to present mobile app specific content becomes increasingly important for retailers like Indian based Flipkart who recently announced plans to remove the capability to purchase from their website and moved to an app only model. In line with the new functionality, Google provided an example of finding accommodation options in search results from the HotelTonight app.

To provide the ability to search app content, Google creates a virtual instance of the app, completes a real time search and returns relevant results to the user. In addition, users will also have the option to stream some apps that they don't have installed. For example, by clicking ‘Stream’ next to the HotelTonight app result, you’ll get a web based version of the app, so that you can quickly and easily find what you need and complete a booking, in just the same way as if you were in the app itself. The option to install the app is also prevalently featured.

Strategically, this is important for Google to continue to build their relevance as the mobile web evolves and ultimately benefits users by linking them to the most relevant information. It will be interesting to see how they continue to expand the list of supported apps including retail apps.

See the app results in action: 
 



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Micro Mobile Moments

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Micro Mobile Moments

Consumers no longer go online, they live online... People are spending significantly longer online, however, that time is no longer made up of a few long sessions, it's now driven by short bursts of online activity. Previously idle moments like waiting for the bus, standing in line or sitting through TV commercials are now filled with digital engagements. The customer journey has changed into hundreds of what Google defines as 'intent-driven micro-moments' with each one an opportunity for brands to shape customer decisions.

Google recently quantified this through their Consumers in the Micro-Moment research, which identified:

  • 80% of Australians say they now access the Internet more often, but in shorter bursts
  • 81% of Australians say their smartphone searches are more focused on the information that they need immediately (like finding store locations, choosing where to eat or finding directions), compared to their desktop searches
  • 95% of users will turn to their smartphone for immediate information, ideas or advice
  • 71% of people who used their smartphone to search whilst instore trust online reviews more than the word of the sales person

Digital commerce provider Demandware recently highlighted a similar trend in their shopping index which measures digital commerce growth and is based on analysis of the shopping activity of over 200 million shoppers across 1,300 websites worldwide generating billions of dollars in revenue. They identified that phones are the driving force of digital commerce growth and shoppers are doing more than just browsing via their mobile - phones accounted for 94% of the year-over-year increase in traffic, 74% of the growth in items added to an online shopping bag and 47% of order growth.

They also identified the trend towards consumers engaging in short bursts of activity - the index shows that duration of shopping visits on mobile devices decreased 37%, whilst cross device shopping increased 10% between Q2 2014 and Q2 2105. 

This presents a number of opportunities for marketers:

  • Create a connected strategy for cross device shopping and allow shoppers to pick up where their previous ‘micro-moment’ left off
  • Tailor your customer journey to meet consumer’s 'I want to know', 'I want to do' and 'I want to buy' moments - either via products of services that provide customer utility or via content that answers their questions
  • Use personalisation on key customer touchpoints such as email or websites to accelerate the customer journey deep into their shopping experience

In short, mobile devices are changing the way we do things and where we do them.

Learn more via Demandware’s Shopping Index or Google’s Micro Moments research.

Consumers no longer go online, they live online...

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Wearable Tech In Clothing Fabric

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Wearable Tech In Clothing Fabric

One of the most exciting announcements from Google's recent I/O developer conference was their Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) division demonstrating Project Jacquard.

At its core, the technology is a conductive yarn that can be woven using existing industrial looms for mass-market apparel and upholstery. The created threads connect to circuitry (which will eventually be the size of a jacket button) that can react to gestures or whatever other 'quantified self' attributes  - such as heart rate - a designer might dream up.

Project Jacquard has the potential to make interactions more natural and seamless. Potentially a significantly better experience than Google's prior wearable flagship product - Google Glass. It should also enable manufacturing at scale to keep pricing low.

Everyday objects such as clothes, furniture, blankets or car seats could be transformed into interactive surfaces. Perhaps you'll be able to change your TV channel from your sofa cushion?  Google's first design partner is Levi Strauss & Co so it's likely we'll first see Project Jacquard appear in an interactive pair of jeans.

Project Jacquard will allow designers and developers to build connected, touch-sensitive textiles into their own products.
— Google ATAP

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Luxury Goods Online - How Shoppers Research & Buy

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Luxury Goods Online - How Shoppers Research & Buy

Recently, Google partnered with Ipsos to reveal how affluent consumers research and shop for high-end fashion, accessories and jewellery. 

Unsurprisingly, they found that people shopping for luxury goods are among the most digitally savvy, they use the Internet more than any other avenue for research, they use multiple devices and they still want to experience products and finalise purchases in store.

My six key takeaways from the research:

  • Even though 82% of luxury purchases occur instore, 78% of shoppers research online before they buy.
  • Affluent buyers  are more likely to use multiple connected devices (PC, tablet, smartphone) than the general population and in emerging markets they own twice as many devices.
  • Convenience and access to good deals are the key motivations for purchasing online, whilst the main barrier to purchasing online is the desire to experience the product first hand.
  • Luxury shoppers multi-task by interacting with digital devices whilst consuming offline media (TV and magazines). This is more likely in emerging markets with over 80% multi-screening whilst watching TV.
  • There is a preference for immersive advertising formats such as video and 3D imaging to effectively bring luxury items to life online.
  • This research highlights some key opportunities for luxury omnichannel retailers, particularly with respect to linking offline and online marketing efforts, adopting a digital marketing attribution strategy and offering a good online experience regardless of the device.


Download the full research study.
 

Google Luxury Shopper Research




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