It’s going to be a mobile Christmas: 17.3% of all paid search ad clicks in December will stem from mobile devices, up considerably from 9.5% last December, predicts search engine marketing firm Performics Inc. The big question is: Does the landing page on the other side of that click offer a mobile-optimized version? For 79% of its advertisers, Google Inc. says, the answer is no.
This is one reason why search and mobile company Google is stepping in today, launching GoMo, a free online resource for retailers and other businesses looking to go mobile.
“Every day more and more of your customers are looking for you on mobile devices,” Google writes in an official blog post. “If you don’t have a site that works for mobile, you’re missing out.”
Located at HowToGoMo.com, GoMo presents data Google uses to make the argument that businesses need to go mobile. It offers a tool that shows how a retailer’s site currently looks on a smartphone and provides tips on areas for improvement. It showcases exemplary mobile web sites and highlights case studies of businesses on the mobile web. And it includes a list of 12 vendors that can help a business craft a mobile web site.
Six of the vendors on the list specialize in mobile commerce sites. They are iLoop Mobile, July Systems, Mobify, Moovweb, Netbiscuits and Unbound Commerce. Google started with a collection of around 50 mobile vendors and narrowed it down to a short list, then did a detailed analyses of the finalists to determine the final 12, says a person familiar with the process who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Companies on Google’s list of recommended vendors are ecstatic to be there, seeing GoMo as a great opportunity to highlight their wares and bring in more business. Unbound Commerce, for example, is offering what it has dubbed gStores. With a gStore Starter Package, Unbound builds a retailer a fully functional mobile commerce site based on Google Product Feeds, Google Checkout and Google Analytics for a one-time fee of $1,200 and a monthly fee of $125, with no transaction fees.
“Google’s GoMo initiative is in direct response to the fact that its advertisers have not kept up with their consumers when it comes to mobile,” says Keith Lietzke, chief marketing officer at Unbound Commerce, which has 260 clients in m-commerce, many of them small merchants. “Mobilizing its advertisers allows Google to sell that much more mobile ad services. If Google can help make it easy to go mobile—through education, advice and recommendations—more retailers will take the plunge.”
Netbiscuits, a mobile technology provider that claims 25,000 mobile web sites—only some of them commerce-enabled, including ones for eBay Inc., HSN Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp.—across the globe, sees inclusion in GoMo as an opportunity to educate more businesses about the mobile web and expand its already considerable reach.
“Being part of the GoMo program will introduce the Netbiscuits platform to thousands, if not millions, of small and medium-sized businesses that know they need to go mobile, but until now, haven’t had the resources and knowledge at their fingertips,” a company spokesman says. “GoMo sends a loud message to the business community that the mobile web must be an essential component of their strategy in 2012 and beyond.”