Google talks African strategy

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Trying to use a single e-commerce strategy across various regions is bad business.

This was the word from Luke McKend, country head for Google SA, who was speaking at the World Retail Congress Africa, held in Sandton this week. McKend said this statement is particularly relevant in an African context.

People are increasingly using the Internet to look for an instantaneous response that is related to where they are, according to McKend. “Fully a third of all Google searches have some kind of implicit location information,” he said, adding that this ties very closely to the global drive towards mobility.

With 1.5 million Android activations every day, he believes businesses that lack a mobile strategy, especially in Africa, are “dead in the water”. There is a big shift happening in consumer behaviour, he said, with mobile queries starting to outdo desktop queries in many regions. But this overarching mobile trend should not be misunderstood, McKend noted, adding that having the same mobile strategy for the entire African continent is a mistake. “It is so important to not paint every country in Africa with the same brush when it comes to mobile. Different markets require different strategies.” Adapted from

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