(cross posted on the Official Google Blog)

Mobile usage in retail is on the rise—every year we see an increasing number of shopping queries originate from mobile phones. As mobile continues to proliferate, it’s also fundamentally changing the way people shop. Mobile and shopping are made for each other.

Knowing this, we’re sharing a secret with you: it’s not too late to get your e-commerce site ready for the mobile surge this holiday shopping season. In fact, our newest customer, Timberland, just went live with their mobile-optimized website powered by Google Commerce Search in a matter of days.

Chris Hardisty, director of Timberland Global E-Commerce, told us: “Our first priority in developing our mobile website was making sure customers had the best experience possible. Shoppers today expect fast and relevant results especially on mobile, where speed and interactivity matter most. Since we launched our mobile-optimized website, we have seen mobile sales grow 20 times faster than our desktop site sales.”

Today we’re growing the Google Commerce Search family by opening up our new Google Commerce Search Reseller Program, and welcoming Branding Brand and Perficient as our inaugural resellers. We wanted to make it easier for retailers to adopt Google Commerce Search to help them achieve amazing results and meet their customers’ needs. Through this new program, resellers can work with us to bring the unique capabilities of Google Commerce Search to their retail clients.

Branding Brand has worked with Timberland and—earlier this year—GNC to turn their mobile visions into reality. Before GNC optimized their mobile website, 10 to 15 percent of their e-commerce traffic came from mobile. Since launching it this summer, there are twice as many visitors using search, and mobile search conversions are up 50 percent.

If you decide that building a mobile application is the best choice for you, it’s still important to build a powerful search experience that will help shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for and engage with your brand. In August, Westfield launched a mobile shopping app powered by Google Commerce Search for its 55 malls throughout the U.S. Alan Cohen, Executive Vice President, Management and Marketing for Westfield, told us “Whether the shopper is looking for a very specific product or general holiday gift items, the ability to search retailer products effortlessly is of real benefit.”

Ready to get started with your mobile commerce site? With the big holiday shopping season coming soon, we wanted to share some tips based on our relationships with our merchant customers:
  • Every millisecond counts: You can’t deliver an amazing mobile shopping experience to your customers by wasting their time. Shoppers should be able to find the products without unnecessary clicks, typing or other steps.
  • Engage your audience: Search has become highly interactive with suggestions and auto-complete, while mobile allows consumers to touch and engage with their devices in new and fun ways. Combining the two allows you to intrigue your potential customers for instant gratification.
  • Get to the point: Whether someone’s looking for a high-resolution digital camera or orange khaki trousers, you want to make sure that it’s easy to find—with minimal keystrokes, of course. Space is limited on those 3- or 4-inch screens, so make the most of it by providing relevant search results.
  • Bridge the gap: According to our holiday retail user survey, 65 percent of high-end device users report they have used their device to find a business and then made a purchase at that business in person. In other words: mobile provides a great opportunity to drive foot traffic and bridge online and offline sales. You can delight shoppers by showing them when a product is also available in a store nearby—in-line with the search results.
We built Google Commerce Search just under two years ago to help retailers provide a great shopping experience to their customers, and we’ve had positive feedback from our retail customers on how they’ve been able to increase search revenues, site searches and online conversions while increasing customer satisfaction. Get started now with Google Commerce Search to build a great mobile experience in time for this year’s shopping season.