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Mobile Google shopping ads drive swathes of retailer traffic, finds study – but retailers failing to capitalise

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Google Shopping ads on mobile phones are the largest single source of visitors to retail websites, according to a new report – but many retailers are then failing to keep those visitors on site.

A Shopping Behaviour report from InternetRetailing Knowledge Partner FoundIt! found that nearly 25% of all sessions across direct, paid and shopping search traffic came from the source. However, as much as 83% of traffic either leaves immediately or views as little as 2.5 pages before leaving.

FoundIt! chief executive Warren Cowan said in a blog post: “In seeing more users coming from shopping search and doing so on mobile we are truly seeing a perfect storm of mismatching shopper intent with the wrong type of content, combined with a smaller, portrait and hand-held screen where any navigation options are fewer, more obscure and more challenging to use. This is only going to make it more difficult for shoppers to broaden their view and navigate back up the site.”

The report reviewed 66m shopping sessions with leading retailers over May and June. It found that 27% sessions on mobile browse beyond the first page, compared to 38% on desktop. That represents a drop of about 29% between users arriving on desktop vs mobile.

Cowan added: “Given the size of this segment and the sheer volume of lost opportunity within it, there are clearly huge amounts of additional opportunity that can be related from improving the mobile experience at the product page level, and retailers who prioritise this will likely see some of the quickest and most significant gains in their sales this year.”

Foundit! says that most sales from Google Shopping take place when users navigate upwards from a product page to a higher level category’s suggesting that retailers should make it easier for shoppers to move away from the product page to see the wider range, both within the category and across the website.

The study comes in the week after the European Commission fined Google €2.4bn for prioritising Google Shopping ahead of competitor shopping comparison websites in its search results.

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