M-Commerce: Google to Become Wireless Carrier
Let the speculation begin: How can Google's move to become a wireless carrier benefit marketers? In addition to the data about mobile users and their behavior, there's another plus that can't be far behind in marketers' minds. This can really benefit mobile-optimized sites' search engine results, right?
"[Sundar Pichai, senior VP at Google] said Google will become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it could buy 'wholesale access' from Sprint and T-Mobile networks and then sell cellular plans to its own customers," writes Samantha Murphy Kelly on Monday for Mashable.
Pichai spoke Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where he added some cryptic statements.
"Search is core to everything we do," he says, according to The Verge. "With mobile, we not only have search, but we push things to you before you ask. We have huge usage on mobile."
Pichai emphasizes the statistics about how consumers spend "10 million hours on their phones a month" and on Black Friday, 40 percent of transactions happened on mobile devices. [Editor's note: IBM's statistics show 49.6 percent of Web shoppers browsed on mobile devices, but accounted for only 27.9 percent of total online sales.]
How Google becoming a wireless carrier can possibly benefit marketers:
1. Further Incorporating Mobile Results Into SEO. In October 2014, marketers without mobile-optimized sites started noticing icons in their results listings that showed a mobile device crossed out. Pichai's announcement seems to confirm how much mobile matters to Google.
2. Google Will House Even More Data—Behavioral and Otherwise—About Consumers That Marketers Can Use in Real-Time. Marketers can offer personalized, location-based deals, which mobile marketers may already be doing. However, gaining consumer opt-in is best, says Priya Viswanathan on About.com. "Providing location-based services such as information on stores and restaurants, close to the user's current location, helps simplify their everyday tasks," she writes. Marketers can also partner with Google to offer location-based incentives to consumers, she says.