Monday, 8 July 2013

Rick Jones Head of Retail at Google about the shopping explosion caused by tablets & mobiles

Rick Jones Head of Retail at Google on the shopping explosion 
taking place on tablets & mobiles

At the recent ICSC European Marketing conference in London, marketers and delegates, attended a full and lively workshop, led By Rick Jones, Head of Retail at Google. 

The subject was the massive growth in the use of mobile devices by consumers and retailers.

You know a subject is important to an industry , when Google appoint a team headed by an industry veteran like Rick to work with the companies involved in that sector. 

Steve Whittle of Mosaic PR was at the workshop to listen to Google’s thoughts and the opinions of shopping centre owners from across Europe.

Rick Jones introduced the session, with a multimedia presentation, showing the explosion in using mobile devices by consumers, and its effects on the UK retail scene. Rick showed the complete change in the shopping process and way use of shops is changing by consumers using mobiles. 

Contrasting this with the changes and full shifts in marketing plans by some leading retailers with the amazing statistics, and the ever sad sight of empty shops on UK high streets. 

Rick showed the growth, and use of mobile devices  and how retailers using apps and location based services had benefited hugely from interacting with shoppers.

In the UK smart-phones now have 73% penetration and people are interacting 150 times a day with their devices, according to Google’s own statistics. 


With consumers researching and discussing products, sharing information to friends and the world on social media, and show rooming as well, before purchasing online it is not surprising so many retailers see they need to influence the process.

Consumers are ignoring trends, it is now anticipation and creation, retailers need to innovate to take part in the process.

Nowhere is that more seen than the blurring of the real world with the digital world, the Burberry store in London’s Regent Street is leading the way with designing its flagship store to resemble its website, displaying digital first thinking as it adapts to customers wanting instant service and constant innovation.  

The Burberry Store Regent St London

Retailers are following their shoppers throughout their day on social media, and throughout their shopping journey online and in store, making offers and influencing the process at key moments. As well as listening to  shoppers saying what they want. 

Those retailers who are listening to their shoppers are eliminating shopping hates.

Responding to complaints of queues to pay, with assistants with roaming terminals. Putting QR codes on products to help shoppers choose things to look at later, and assistants with tablets with catalogues allowing shoppers to sit and select what to try.

Google are working with retailers to make in-store maps available, maps which pull consumers to the results of their searches and take them straight to where those goods are located in store. 

 The Google shopping app allows retailers to draw people to stores, pushing products matching searches, and pulling in consumers making offers.

It was clear from the workshop that in many markets, both retailers and mall owners, are not up to speed with this new way, and consumers are driving the process. Notable exceptions were those enlightened companies who see this way as their key to success.

Contrast this with most CEE markets, and we see some retailers using online marketing but not focusing on mobile devices. The lack of uptake on the retailer side, isn’t matched by Polish consumers. 

So adoption of the new way of shopping and using stores has begun and is increasing rapidly in CEE, the question is have enough retailers realised it yet.

Yes, we can see investment in to online food  shopping by multinational supermarkets and online fashion brands, but have mall owners considered the effects of this new system on their business, currently being planned by the very retailer who is their key footfall driver.

When shoppers see they can do this from their desk, and all is delivered at home, saving them petrol, time, hassle, and giving them more free time, then adoption rates in Poland and CEE countries will soar.

Retailers will ensure all concerns by shoppers are met as well to fuel this growth.

That leaves shopping centres with decreasing footfall, non food and ancillary tenants not getting those incremental or impulse buys. 

Left long enough, the effect  maybe catastrophic, especially for small neighbourhood malls.

It is clear in the age of self expression, if your mall or brand has no identity its customers can’t identify and interact with, you have a major problem.

Retail has become Wetail, its no longer about you, your brand, its about WE

Brands, retailers, malls and consumers all interacting together.  Consumers being given reasons to recommend, discuss, and come to shop. Its also realising this process is going on 24/7 , even when your outlets or malls are closed, and seeing you need to take part in the process 24/7 to influence it.

Luckily communication agencies, are here to help, to learn more about Wetail and get a free pdf download of our Wetail document or more info on the use of Mobile devices and apps in Retail and shopping centres you can tweet us at @MosaicPRWarsaw or contact us via facebook, linkedin or by our website just click on the icons to the right of the article or feel free to leave us a comment below  .


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  2. In today's retail, inside-store operations are greatly supported by technology and Retail Shopping App.