Mobile Becomes Media Platform: 74% Use Smartphones, 52% On Tablets

Punch Mobility Mobile PlatformSuch is the rapid adoption of mobile devices by Americans that smartphones and tablets are becoming mainstream media platforms.

Based on a survey of 2,500 cell or smartphone owners aged 12 to 64 in August, a study by Frank N. Magid Associates estimates 74% of people now use a smartphone and 52% use a tablet.

Those figures are higher than most other similar estimates. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project, for example, released a survey in June finding 56% of American adults own a smartphone, and 34% own a tablet. But the Magid study covered a wider age range, and also asked survey participants what devices they “use,” not just own.

With that broader framework in mind, the research firm projects 80% of Americans next year will use a smartphone, and 64% a tablet. Younger users have been among the most enthusiastic in embracing mobile screens. More than a third (35%) of those in the 18-34 age bracket consider smartphones or tablets their primary entertainment platform, about equal with laptops and PC (34%), and more than TV (21%).

That isn’t to say Americans are abandoning TV for smaller screens. Nielsen research shows mobile alternatives haven’t put a serious dent in the amount of TV viewing. That’s in part because of the second-screen phenomenon, with people interacting on smartphones and tablets while watching TV.

The Magid report estimates 37% of smartphone owners and 56% of tablet owners are using their devices while in front of the TV, opening up new cross-screen ad opportunities. With smartphones and tablets becoming key features of the media landscape, the study warns that consumer expectations rise along with new business opportunities.

A company’s digital experience should be simple, personalized, relevant and provide curation to help users filter the sea of online information and foster a sense of community. Even major players like Amazon, Facebook and Google each have flaws in their approach. Google, for instance, “lacks curation and trust and doesn’t always help customers make the right decision,” according to the report.

Conversely, Facebook is dogged by ongoing privacy concerns, Amazon hasn’t figured out how to connect with consumers at the local level, and Yelp needs to bring more quality control to its trove of user-contributed reviews.

A mostly mobile world has become inevitable.

mobile worldMobile search and activity will surpass desktop usage in the very near future, and 66% of users simply won’t return to a website if it gives them trouble on their mobile device. For these reasons, it has become critical for businesses to implement appropriate mobile strategies.

But simple implementation has already become the norm! Now, in order to truly maximize the opportunities present, prepare for future changes, and earn a competitive advantage, small businesses would be well advised to be thinking “mobile first.” That is, not just reluctant publication of an app or mobile site, but enthusiastic embracing of mobile technology into core operations.

Here’s why:

1. It will focus you

Mobile leaves very little room for fluff. In the process of designing your mobile website and app, writing short notifications and offers, and participating in short-length social media, you will focus on what matters most to your business. Your most important offerings will naturally be front-and-center in your thinking, and unimportant distractions will fade.

2. You can make mistakes while it is still relatively early

It’s no longer correct to say that mobile is in an “early” stage of development, but it is still relatively early in terms of total cultural and industry saturation. There is still time to experiment, make mistakes, and correct them. Soon, this window will be closing, and users will have no tolerance for mobile experiences that are not totally polished.

The analogous experience would be to go to an outdated website. Now that beautiful websites have become the norm, are you still able to take a business seriously if the website doesn’t look professional? Many consumers are not.

Mobile will soon be the same way, if it isn’t already.

3. It can boost innovation

Testing out new business strategies will open up your thinking and invigorate your business. Many things are possible with mobile technology, and by getting into the game, you may find new ways to connect with customers, improve your offerings, and increase revenue. In a way, a mobile first approach can help your business stay “young” in its attitude toward community interaction.

4. You can get ahead of the competition

Mobile strategies are a must, but many small business owners still lag behind. By taking charge and adopting a mobile first approach, you can gain a significant edge over your competition. Since users are clamoring for mobile interaction, they will favor the business that gives it to them. Be the first mover, and you can get a big jump on the competition.

By the time competitors decide to participate, you’ll already be miles ahead.

I-am-PushHow Facebook, Spotify and CNN are getting push messaging wrong: report

With the continued popularity of mobile applications, marketers are increasingly leveraging in-app push notifications to drive user engagement. However, many marketers still make basic mistakes when it comes to push messaging and risk important customer relationships, according to new research from Urban Airship.

The report is based on a review of Twitter conversations to find out what users are saying about push messaging, and reveals how even big brands such Facebook, Spotify and CNN make mistakes when it comes to push messaging. Others such as Netflix as well as apps for weather services and airlines are ensuring their messages are timely and relevant, resulting in positive feedback from customers.

“Mobile devices are inherently personal and unlike every channel that came before requires brands to think differently about customer engagement,” said Brent Hieggelke, chief marketing officer of Urban Airship, Portland, OR.

“Interrupting people to get their attention is accepted as the price of content on TV,” he said. “An off-the-mark email just gets deleted. An irrelevant postcard hits the round file.

“But push notifications are different, soliciting extremely positive and negative emotions as evidenced by our Bad Push Booklet. There are many brands getting push messaging right, and they are building mobile loyalty and gaining competitive advantage over those taking a less thoughtful approach.”

Relevant messages
Mobile users who opt-in for an app’s push messaging should be highly-valued customers as engagement levels are 388 percent higher for these users compared to those who do not opt-in.

Getting it wrong with push notifications can have bigger ramifications compared to marketers’ other messaging strategies because customers have given permission to contact them, and there is a risk that they will delete the offending app if marketers abuse the relationship.

Urban Airship’s research uncovered several insights about what works and what does not in push messaging.

Push messages should provide value.

For example, many marketers still repeat messages from TV, print and the Web, copying them exactly on mobile.

This strategy does not take into account how mobile is different.

Because users have opted-in to push messaging on mobile, they expect more personalized and relevant content, and marketers need to recognize that different users will have different interests.

For example, CNN made the mistake of delivering repeated headlines about the royal baby to app users without recognizing that while some users might be interested in this information and others were not. As a result, users took to Twitter to complain about the messages.

Avoid being intrusive

Another mistake is trying to leverage push notifications to drive transactions and engagement.

For example, when Facebook used push to encourage users to post an update, many were not pleased and expressed their frustrations on Twitter, resulting in negative word-of-mouth for the brand.

It is important for marketers to let users set their preferences for what types of messages they receive. This can help avoid annoyed users who view a brand’s irrelevant messages as intrusive.

Push messages should be relevant.

For instance, Spotify users complained on Twitter after receiving push notifications regarding the availability of music from an artist they were not interested in.

Conversely, when the notification is relevant to a user, this can drive loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Marketers should leverage in-app behaviors to give their messages greater context.

For example, Netflix looks at what users watch so it can update them when content they are interested in become available.

“Allow app users to fine-tune what push notifications they get and what they don’t, as less is more,” Mr. Hieggelke said. “Use everything they choose to share with you — preferences, behaviors, location profiles — to ensure messaging delivers personally relevant value.”

A timely matter

In order to ensure push messages retain value for customers, it is also important not to send too many sales messages. App users may seem like an easy target to drive sales numbers, but overdoing it will lose their trust.

Since push messaging enables marketers to reach customers at any time throughout the day, it is important to keep in mind when messages are being sent.

For example, choose a time when customers are most likely to be receptive and act while being careful to not interrupt dinner or work.

Timing is important in other ways, too.

Many weather apps send out push messages alerting users to impending bad weather in their area, with users expressing how useful they find these messages.

However, if users reply to a Tweet or email and then receive a push message five minutes later encouraging them to respond, they will be annoyed.

Instant gratification

Since users tend to read push notifications very soon after they arrive, push can make sense in instances when an instant action is required.

Many airlines send push notifications when the boarding gate has changed for a user’s airline flight, resulting in positive feedback for these brands.

One type of message to avoid is one highlighting a brand’s latest ad campaign. Mobile users are not looking for another ad delivery system – they are looking for relevant communications.

“Your business model might suggest the more app opens or the more page views the better, but don’t be a needy app,” Mr. Hieggelke said.

“If you send a headline, make sure the push is linked to the story so users don’t have to search around,” he said. “Deliver insight through push that instantly cements your value in the user’s mind even without requiring them to immediately open the app.

“Similarly, don’t just sell, sell, sell, but take an informative approach to messaging that provides users value even if they don’t have money burning a hole in their pocket.”

mobile-commerce-holiday-spending-on-the-riseMobile will play a bigger role in supporting retail sales this holiday season as well as in how merchants engage customers, helping to drive ecommerce sales gains of between 13 and 15 percent, according to the National Retail Federation’s forecast.

Overall, the NRF predicts retail sales to gain only 3.9 percent as the United States economy continues to try to rebuild following the Great Recession. However, online sales broadly, and mobile sales more specifically, will be a bright spot driven by growing consumer adoption and retail innovation.

“I think [mobile’s role] is going to be incredibly significant,” said Matthew Shay, president of NRF, Washington. “It is a significant component of overall online.

“It is clear from the buzz around the summit this week in Chicago, that this is an area where retailers continue to make significant investments,” he said. “They continue to build out their capabilities here.

“We’re going to see even more of it as we get into the holiday season and it is showing no signs of abating and in fact just continues to increase.”

Government shutdown
NRF expects sales in November and December to increase 3.9 percent compared to 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season growth rate.

The forecast reflects the incremental gains the economy has made so far this year, such as positive growth in the U.S. housing market and more consumers buying larger-ticket items.

However, the government shutdown adds a level of uncertainty to the economy that could negatively impact holiday sales depending on how long it lasts.

The looming debt ceiling crisis could also potentially impact the economy and consumer confidence.

“At the moment, we think we can weather this if it gets resolved quickly, but obviously we are very concerned that if this drags on for an extended period of time, it is going to affect consumer confidence and it’s got implications for the entire rest of the holiday shopping season,” Mr. Shay said.

“We still think, with two-thirds of Americans saying it is not going to affect them, that consumers will come out and shop and spend,” he said.

Cost-conscious consumers
NRF’s digital division released its online holiday sales forecast earlier this week calling for growth of 13 of 15 percent over last holiday season. Last year, ecommerce sales increased 15.5 percent.

Part of what is driving the growth in online and mobile sales is that cost-conscious consumers are taking to the Web to do product research and to look for the best deals.

Consumers are also expected to use retail options such as buy online and pick-up in store, retailers’ apps and mobile Web sites to find gifts.

“[The ecommerce] number is obviously growing much more quickly and really being driven by consumers and the way in which they want to shop today and be engaged with retailers and by retailers who are getting increasingly creative about deploying social media and mobile tactics and a variety of other technological means to stay connected,” Mr. Shay said.

“We think that is going to continue to grow and expand – consumers love it,” he said “That’s the way consumers live their lives today.”

‘Tis the season
The holidays are a crucial time for retailers, accounting for anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of their total annual sales.

Therefore, many retailers are not going to take any chances on how confident consumers are feeling and will likely aggressively push promotions and special offers such as free shipping, much as they have done over the past few years.

Mobile is increasingly playing a bigger role in retailers’ promotional efforts as it enables them to deliver personalized offers to customers who are nearby to drive them into a store.

Retailers are also increasingly leveraging mobile once customers are inside a store to enhance the experience with a variety of shopping tools, offers and other content.

Mobile retail innovation also continues to be strong, with retailers leveraging mobile for enabling self-checkout and mobile payments, by leveraging augmented reality for unique experiences and to support how shoppers are engaging with social media, to name just a few examples.

“I think it is going to be highly promotional,” Mr. Shay said.

“You are going to see lots of technology applied to staying engaged,” he said. “You are going to see people opening maybe earlier, starting sales earlier.”

“There is a lot of innovation going on here and I suspect as we get closer to the season, we are going to see more of that and the ways that is all coming together.”

punch mobility mobile shopping appsMaybe we should just ask consumers what constitutes a mobile wallet, instead of letting banks, merchants, or telcos decide. New research from SAP (full disclosure: my employer) shows that consumers know what they want. And that, in turn, gives industry good insight into what to build.

For this survey, researchers interviewed 12,424 people in 17 countries, and found that consumers expect that a ‘mobile wallet’ would enable them to buy goods online (51%) as well as in a shop (46%), even those costing a small amount (44%), plus check the status of anything currently on order (41%). A third of respondents (35%) also expect to be able to use loyalty cards.

So, there you go. That’s what a mobile wallet should do. And here’s the best part: 82% of consumers want to buy goods and services through their mobile in the future. Wow. That’s a big number, and one that represents a lot of growth from where we are.

Our results also show that globally, one third (32%) of mobile phone users have purchased products on their device in the last year. So, half of consumers (50%) haven’t made a mobile purchase in the last 12 months, but expect to do so in the future.

Retail is a key focus of all the action, with consumers having used mobile to buy entertainment (primarily tickets to cinema, theater, DVDs, sports events, etc.—43%), music downloads (40%), books or e-books (40%), and attire (39%).

Respondents also said that all the discounts (29%), exclusive offers (25%) and coupons (22%) from merchants are encouraging them to purchase via mobile.

Having to enter a lot of personal information (46%), safety concerns (45%) and spotty internet access at the point of purchase (43%) are discouraging them.

Retailers: this is a huge opportunity. A lot of consumers are planning to use their mobiles to buy the things you’re selling. Here’s how you do it: provide incentives and an easy-to-use interface. Make sure to factor in consumers’ desire for both convenience and personal security.

Easier said than done, sure. But who doesn’t love some good industry insight into what consumers want? If you’re getting ready to launch something (and don’t want to have to apologize for it later), or have already launched something that hasn’t succeeded, this report may shed some light on what you need to do going.

mobile searches online soar 2013The majority of large companies are fully embracing mobile marketing, with 92 percent recognizing the importance of mobile solutions in their industries, according to a new study from Syniverse.

It should come as no surprise that mobile is playing a large role in companies’ marketing strategies, but this survey solidifies the extent to which that statement is true. Mobile marketing is no longer optional, and companies are beginning to understand that.

“I would say that the biggest takeaway is that the time for a mobile marketing strategy is now,” said Janet Roberts, CMO of Syniverse, Tampa, FL.

“Clearly, when you look at these results, the respondents have confirmed how important mobile solutions are and also that mobile solutions for marketing campaigns are important,” she said. “People have been talking about mobile for a long time and struggling with how to incorporate it. They now get that it’s going to be part of a campaign to reach customers.”

Syniverse, with the help of market strategy consulting firm iGR, surveyed 1,000 Fortune companies from 10 countries in July 2013.

Thinking mobile
According to Syniverse’s study, companies understand how useful mobile can be for their strategies.

They realize that mobile can help in terms of customer experience, service and communications, as well as reducing operating expenses. They also see mobile enhancing loyalty and revenue in general.

While 72 percent of respondents have implemented or are in the process of implementing a mobile strategy, 16 percent have defined a strategy but have not implemented it yet.

Additionally, 84 percent of respondents said that mobile is “very likely” or “likely” to be used in customer and marketing campaigns.

Fifty-six percent are in the process of implementing location-based services strategies.

According to Joe DiFonzo, chief technology officer of Syniverse, location-based services are key for mobile marketing.

“Clearly a lot of companies are seeing tremendous value in applying location,” he said. “That’s one of the key aspects of mobility, you take the phone with you.”

Mr. DiFonzo expects to see more multimedia coming in mobile strategies, such as rich-communication services.

“It’s still a very complex environment under all of this,” he said. “There’s a need for some simplification of this,” he said. “There’s a lot of complexity with regulatory and privacy issues, productivity and reach, and then of course all of the technical difficulties that are out there. Even mundane things like coding.

“The need for a company that can help not only on the functional end but also on the technical end so companies can reach their customers anywhere and everywhere is going to be very important.”

android-vs-appleIPhone Still Tops Android in Shopping Thrillist CEO Says

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone continues to dominate mobile shopping even as it cedes market share to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android, said Ben Lerer, chief executive officer of online publisher Thrillist Media Group.

The iPhone generates about 90 percent of mobile revenue at Thrillist, which provides daily recommendations and offers focused on men’s interests, Lerer said today at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in New York. With about half his total sales from smartphones, the iPhone accounts for 40 percent of his business, while Android-based phones are less than 10 percent, he said.

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) — John Frankel, founder and partner at ff Venture Capital, Ben Lerer, managing director at Lerer Ventures and chief executive officer of Thrillist Media Group, and Jeremy Levine, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, talk about technology investment strategy. Deirdre Bolton moderates the panel at the Bloomberg Link Next Big Thing Summit in New York. (Source: Bloomberg)

While devices built on Android software share many of the same features as iPhones, the differences in customer behavior show Google hasn’t caught up to Apple’s ability to turn users into consumers. Android accounted for 79 percent of smartphone shipments last quarter, compared with 13 percent for iPhones, according to research firm IDC.

The disparity in mobile shopping has led New York-based Thrillist to develop a higher-quality application for the iPhone, Lerer said.

“Higher cost, higher conversion rates, higher page views – – whatever it is, people shop differently on an iPhone,” Lerer said. “We see totally different performance.”

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, introduced its latest iPhones last week, disappointing investors by not unveiling a low-cost model that would better compete with Android makers like Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)

The lucrative customer behavior on an iPhone may be a sign that app developers will keep their focus on the Apple ecosystem, even as the company loses market share. IPhone users simply spend more time on their phones, said Jeremy Levine, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

“I see it across Yelp, Pinterest, LinkedIn,” Levine said in an interview after Lerer’s comments. “It’s more likely that Android users just went into the store and bought whatever a salesperson told them to. They have this phone but they don’t understand what the capabilities are.”

mobile searches online soar 2013According to a new study, 21% of phone owners use their devices as their primary way of accessing the Internet

When your smartphone makes it so easy to connect to the Internet, why bother firing up a clunky desktop or laptop computer?

Two-thirds of cell-phone owning Americans use their phones to surf the Web and check e-mail, according to the latest study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That’s double the amount from 2009, when only 31% of people said they used their phones to go online.

For a growing segment of people, phones aren’t just a secondary way to check the news or send off a quick e-mail. According to Pew, 21% of phone owners use their devices as their primary way of accessing the Internet, more than PCs and tablets.

Since Pew began tracking Internet and phone usage in 2009, the numbers have steadily risen year-over-year. First there were the youthful early adopters, then it spread to older age groups. This year, biggest jump in online phone-owners was among 50- to 64-year-olds.

The groups most likely to own a smartphone are still the same people who are most likely to access the Internet from their phones. The tech-savvy 18- to 29-year-old set is the most likely to go online from a phone, as are people with a college degree or higher, or people making more than $75,000 a year.

Mobile Web use also is higher among minorities. Three-quarters of African-American and 68% of Hispanic phone owners are going online from their handsets, while just 59% of white phone owners are doing the same.

A whopping 91% of American adults have cell phones and a little more than half of those are smartphones.

Smartphones are built for accessing the Internet and apps — so much so that making a phone call on the devices can seem like an afterthought. Touchscreen Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices are replacing one-trick feature phones, and are changing the way Americans access the Internet in the process.

Each year smartphones get faster, the screens sharper and apps better. Internet connections are also speeding up, both though cellular networks and available Wi-Fi networks.

Not every phone owner uses a fancy smartphone to surf the Web, however. People are also going online from their feature phones between texting, phone calls and games of “Snake.” Surfing the Web on these devices is an impressive feat given the limited controls available.

mobile-real-estate-marketingHouse hunters looking for that perfect piece of real estate are searching and clicking on content more often from smartphones and tablets. From June through August 2013, impressions rose on average 8% and clicks 30% compared with a year ago, per a new study.
To reach those mobile-savvy potential buyers, advertisers spent 12% more on paid-search ads this year.

The Search Agency’s Paid Search Trends in Real Estate Report analyzes paid-search performance across the real estate industry during June through August 2013, comparing findings with the year-ago three-months period. The findings are based on year-over-year (YoY) comparisons of aggregated client data.

It turns out the average cost per click (CPC) fell in 2013 for real-estate developers, apartment communities and brokerages trying to drive quality leads, compared with summer months in 2012. The average CPCs fell YoY from 59 cents to 51 cents. Tablets took the largest hit, at 22%.

Tablet CPCs fell 18%; smartphones, 8.5%; and desktops, 8%. The study notes that the real estate industry’s tablet CPC discount from desktops rose from 30% in 2012 to 38% in 2013, while the CPC discount from desktop on smartphones remained relatively stable YoY — from 25% in 2012 to 26% in 2013.

This year, The Search Agency notes that weekday CPCs came in at 52 cents and weekends at 48 cents. In 2012, CPCs fell 13% on both weekends and weekdays.

Desktop clicks remained virtually flat year-on-year, (YoY,) while clicks on tablets and smartphones more than doubled. Tablet clicks rose 155%; and smartphone clicks 109%, compared with 2012. While CTRs rose on smartphones and desktops, they declined on tablets.

More than half of search impressions occurred on smartphones and tablets in 2013. Tablet impression share rose 250%, and smartphone impression share increased 35%. Desktop impressions related to real estate fell 23% in 2013.

The portion of clicks originating on tablets doubled between 2012 and 2013, and the share of clicks on smartphones rose 58% during the same time period. It was a different story in 2012, when tablets dominated the clicks compared with smartphones.

Desktop activity rose most during the weekdays, while tablet and smartphone peaked on the weekends. During the week, desktops accounted for 50% of total search impressions. On the weekend, smartphone and tablet impressions accounted for 60% of total search impressions, collectively.

From midnight to 6 a.m. overall impression share rose 57% in 2013, compared with the same period in 2013. Smartphone impression share rose during that time, accounting for 70%. CTRs were relatively flat from midnight to 6 a.m., but grew 20% from 6 a.m. to noon, 40% from noon to 6 p.m., and 54% from 6 p.m. to midnight. In 2013, CTR rose throughout the day, growing 240% to 1.7%.

Mobile ecommerce by Punch Mobility23.2 per cent of online sales came from mobile devices in Q2, 2013, according to figures from IMRG and Capgemini. That’s up from 11.6 per cent in Q2, 2012 – exactly double.

That figure lags slightly behind the 34 per cent of visits to online retailers which come from mobile, though IMRG and Capgemini note that desktop bounce rates are on the rise, up to 26 per cent for the year so far, compared to 21.7 per cent in 2010. “There appears to be a correlation between the surge in mobile commerce over the past 3 years and the rise in visitor bounce rates on e-retail websites,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. “While consumers have generally become more confident in using their mobile devices as a shopping tool, the latest data suggests they have also become more demanding. “Higher search volumes will inevitably result in an increase in bounce rates as shoppers will often compare products and pricing across several brands.

However, by offering an engaging and relevant experience for customers across all channels retailers will ultimately achieve the end goal of higher conversion rates and an increase in customer loyalty.” There was also a significant rise in click-and-collect sales in Q2, reaching a record high of 16 per cent of online sales for multichannel retailers, up 33 per cent year-on-year.

girlAmong smartphone owners with an interest in shopping, 58% are using their phones either on their way to or in a retail store. But if the Web site or app they visit delivers a poor experience, they will punish the responsible brand. According to a new study of mobile shoppers from mobile site testing and optimization platform Maxymiser, 30% of dissatisfied m-shopping visitors will leave and go visit a competitor’s site instead.
The survey of over 1,000 smartphone owners with an interest in retail also showed that 23% of people will recall that bad experience and return less often, and 9% will never come back.

The importance of a strong mobile shopping experience has never been greater. Among the shopping-interested mobile users asked, 39% say they are using their phones in-store to complement the live shopping experience. For pre-shopping chores, consumers are most likely to check out electronics stores (46%), clothing (26%) and food (15%) on devices before getting in the store itself. Thirty-nine percent of mobile shoppers are actually using devices in-store, usually to comparison shop. Among all respondents, 19% said they were browsing products and making comparisons on their phones in the store aisles. Another 19% are using them on their way to the store, with 14% looking up locations and hours, and 12% looking for deals and coupons.

Mobile shoppers put ease of use foremost when it comes to mobile shopping sites, with 48% of respondents citing it as the most important quality of a mobile site they visit. Fast-loading pages are tops with 20%, and 12% most appreciate not having to search around for the search bar itself.

When mobile interfaces are smooth, there doesn’t appear to be much of a barrier to consumers against spending considerably on mobile phones. The largest share of mobile shoppers (30%) said they were comfortable spending between $50 and $100 on purchases made on the phone. Only 18% restricted themselves to $50 or less. In fact, 43% of smartphone owners with shopping in mind said they could or would make purchases on their phones of $101 or more, with 23% willing to spend more than $200 on items purchased on phones.

All of this underscores the role that screen agnosticism will play in accelerating m-commerce. Users clearly are making fewer distinctions among screens when it comes to buying goods. Another indication of the increasing irrelevance of screen size in tapping that buy button is the role devices are playing in home and higher up the consideration funnel. About a third of people in the survey segment said they m-shop at least a day before they actually visit the retail location. In other words, the longer-term research phase usually associated with desktops is also migrating to devices.

Mobile traffic growth / Punch MobilityMobile Internet usage accounts for one out of every three digital media minutes consumed, according to the August 2013 BrightEdge Mobile Share Analysis released today.

“People are taking what was wasted time and making that useful time through their mobile device,” says Brad Mattick, VP of marketing and products for SEO platform provider BrightEdge. “So, marketers have essentially more opportunities to engage and drive interaction.”

The analysis also revealed that mobile traffic jumped 125% over the course of H1 2012 to H1 2013 while desktop traffic only grew by 12%. And with more brands taking on the role of publisher, it’s “essential” for marketers to optimize their sites for mobile to expand their reach and target the right content to the growing smartphone market, Mattick says. In fact, U.S. smartphone adoption increased by 30% in 2012, according to comScore reported via the analysis.

“For marketers, it’s a tremendous opportunity, as this research shows, to connect with consumers, to show them their best content, to engage with them, and to convert them into being loyal customers,” he says.

But mobile doesn’t beat desktop on all fronts. While tablets convert at approximately the same rate as desktop, mobile converts at roughly one-third the rate, partially because marketers don’t design content with the device in mind, Mattick says. He advises marketers to follow Google’s mobile user experience best practices, such as incorporating responsive design and creating content specifically for a smaller screen.

“You can’t change the fact that a smartphone has a small screen—that’s why people carry them around,” Mattick says. “What’s driving the difference is that brands need to target the content and the conversation they want to have with a visitor to their site or with somebody who’s interacting with their digital content so that it works on a smartphone.”

Mattick also discourages marketers from going against users’ intentions. For example, if a user clicks on a link to access content they saw via a mobile email, brands shouldn’t direct that user to a splash page instructing him to download their app, he explains. “That’s not what anyone is looking for.”

However, Mattick says the biggest challenge marketers face with mobile is the ability to measure mobile effort and initiatives at scale. He says this hinders brands when it comes to understanding the impact mobile can have on their revenue and overall business.

“They’re challenged to understand how well they’re doing against their competitors on mobile because there’s a battle for a share of voice,” Mattick says.

However, Mattick says more marketers will be able to tackle this challenge in the upcoming year.

“Brands are going to become more and more focused on measuring mobile as a separate distinct channel or experience,” he says. “Brands are going to move very much from the art and the creativity side of just creating content that looks good on mobile to the science of marketing and really measuring the value of content on mobile devices.”

mobile marketing trendsTime spent visiting retail Web sites on tablets and smartphones has eclipsed that of time spent shopping via the desktop. A combined 51% of time on retail sites took place on devices as of February (37% on smartphones, 14% on tablets) compared to 49% on PCs, according to a new study by mobile ad network Millennial Media and comScore.

The desktop share is down from 84% in 2010. But comScore indicates that while time spent is shifting toward mobile, it’s helping extend the desktop audience by 45% as consumers that start on PCs continue their shopping experience across devices. So there’s a fair amount of overlap among platforms.

Who’s shopping on mobile devices? More than half the U.S. audience is men (52%) and 48% women, with most in the 18 to 44 age range. Nearly half (48%) have an Android smartphone, and 45% own an iPhone. Tablet owners tend to skew more affluent, with more than half with household incomes higher than $75,000, and 47% access retail content.

Much of the discussion around mobile shopping has focused on how people are using devices in stores. The Millennial /comScore study doesn’t directly address the issue of showrooming, but it does suggest most smartphone owners (55%) have used their handsets while in stores to compare prices, and 52% have made online purchases.

Other common in-store mobile activities include scanning a product barcode (58%),  researching product features (57%), finding a store location (50%), and checking product availability (47%), and finding coupons or deals (44%).

The study also highlighted gender differences in shopping, with women a third more likely to use their phones for social actions like texting a friend or family member about a product. Men, meanwhile, are two-thirds less likely to scan a barcode or compare prices.

“Store locators may be a more effective tactic to use with men, while ads linking to a social network may be more effective with women, and can be targeted accordingly,” noted the study. Price is overall the biggest factor when it comes to making a purchase on a smartphone, with nearly three-quarters (73%) citing it as a key consideration.

Other things influencing a purchase include customer reviews (35%), mobile coupons (33%), expert reviews (24%), store rewards (23%), a company-sponsored social site (19%), and personal recommendations (18%). The report pointed out that mobile coupons and rewards are also price-related tools retailers can use to incentivized buying.

Clothing tops the list of non-digital products that people are buying on smartphones (39%), followed by tickets (24%), physical books (23%), meals for delivery or pick-up (22%) and consumer electronics (21%). Purchases on tablets followed a similar pattern, with clothing the most popular category by a wider margin (54%), followed by books (29%), tickets (24%), daily deals (23%), and consumer electronics (22%).

Retailers haven’t shied away from mobile advertising, ranking as the top-spending industry category on the Millennial network during the fourth quarter of 2012, and the fourth-highest in the first quarter, behind telecom, entertainment and finance.

Retail ad spending in the first quarter was up 10% from a year ago. “From this already large, established base of spending, retail brands have begun to shift their mobile advertising strategies. Retail advertisers are allocating their mobile spend differently, towards more innovative targeting features,” stated the report.

mobile shpping cartMobile commerce broke numerous records during the 2012 holiday shopping season and is well positioned for a repeat performance this year, thanks to the growing number of consumers who own a smartphone as well as increasingly sophisticated mobile retail strategies.

On Black Friday alone last year, mobile accounted for 16 percent of online sales. This year, the number could exceed 20 percent and significantly higher for individual retailers, such as those in the flash sales category where mobile sales already top 50 percent on certain days.

“Right now, we are seeing 17.7 percent in terms of percent of transactions coming from the mobile device,” said Dave Haucke a strategist at IBM Enterprise Marketing, Armonk, NY. “We believe that not only are we going to break records again this holiday season but we could crack 20 percent.

“If you look at the trajectory of mobile commerce over the last two years, it has been growing something like 30 percent every year,” he said. “If we grow another 30 percent that puts us over 20 percent of online sales.

“Mobile is going to continue to grow this holiday season in terms of the transaction channel. That is good news, but it also means that it raises the stakes in terms of that customer experience because we are starting to see an increase in bounce rates and a decrease in time on site and pages visits.”

Rightsizing menus
As consumers become more comfortable with their smartphones, their expectations grow and they become less tolerant of bad experiences.

This means that not only do retailers have to have a mobile site and application, but they need to make sure that the experience is truly optimized for mobile from start to finish.

While not all retailers have mobile friendly sites or apps, many of the bigger names – such as Target, Walmart and Macy’s – do, and the number is growing. For those that already have these strategies in place, they are looking at ways to enhance the user experience.

For example, some retailers are insuring that drop down menus are big enough for fingers to use on a mobile device.

Additionally, the checkout process is being streamlined so that mobile users can easily complete a purchase without having to fill in multiple screens. For a growing number of retailers, this means adding one-click checkout options.

Omni-channel experiences
Retailers also need to deliver a better personalized experience, not only on mobile but across devices.

Since users often initiate research for a product on their smartphones when they have a few minutes to spare but then complete the purchase later on from their tablet or laptop, retailers need to be able to connect mobile activity with tablet or laptop activity. This way, if users are searching for red dresses on mobile, the retailer can serve them relevant options once the shopping moves over to a tablet.

“The biggest change this year compared to last year is that I think retailers are going to be doing a better job of tracking consumers when they go from device to device,” Mr. Haucke said.

“In the past, one of the key gaps was that they could see what shoppers were doing on the mobile site, but when they switched over to desktop, retailers couldn’t connect the dots,” he said. “Many retailers have overcome that this year and will deliver a consistent experience from one to the other.”

Driving in-store sales
A recent survey of retailers conducted by Baynote and the e-tailing group found that 55 percent of retailers expect mobile transactions to account for a significant part of holiday revenue, while one in three retailers predict mobile will drive more than 10 percent of total holiday revenue.

Retailers also expect mobile to drive renewed store interest for omni-channel merchants, with 38 percent saying mobile will drive incremental in-store sales.

Additionally, mobile is helping to drive the trend toward earlier promotions as users begin their product research via their smartphones when they have a few minutes to spare. The Baynote report found that 30 percent of retailers will begin promotions prior to Oct. 1, while over 40 percent wait until early November.

“We know the mobile customer likes to shop and discover more than they like to buy on that device,” said Dan Darnell, vice president of marketing and product at Baynote, San Jose, CA.

“As a result, targeted mobile offers must be designed and delivered in such a way that they entice the shopper to act now and convert for maximum results,” he said.

“Imagery will be important, the mobile purchasing interface will be critical and, of course, the time at which the offer is received may all impact effectiveness.”

push-notificationsMobile apps help to attract new customers, increase engagement and drive conversions, but this often requires the user to keep coming back.

Some in-app offerings will be enough of a pull for users, but other times the users might need a little push.

Push notifications are sent to a user’s device from mobile apps to keep the dialogue going between brand and consumer. There is a common misconception that this type of notification is spam but this is only down to the few who are abusing the privilege of the personal marketing channel.

The majority of US brands haven’t cottoned on to the marketing benefits of push technology. As long as it isn’t misused, push technology is an effective way to engage customers and drive brand loyalty.

Recent research by push technology startup Urban Airship shows how push notifications can lead to:

540% increase in daily app opens.
3x faster response time than email.
30% increase in social sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

These figures show, when used effectively, push notifications achieve higher engagement results than popular channels like email.

The key to getting notifications right is giving customers information they want. When a push notification is sent to a user’s device, their day-to-day activities are being interrupted. If the message doesn’t add value to the user’s day or include a compelling CTA, you aren’t going to draw them in.

Many marketers aren’t aware of what you can do with push technology, below are a few examples of how you can use push notifications to engage and retain customers.

Target your audience

You can actively target your audience through in-app behaviours and data the user has already provided you with. These include:

User preferences

Users should be educated on push notifications as soon as they open the app. Give users the decision to opt in or out of notifications, and those who opt-in can be directed to define their preferences further. For example, users might want to receive the latest football results but not the latest cricket results.

Letting the user choose which notification types they want to receive will make them more likely to opt-in. As long as you are sending users relevant messages that add value, they will be willing to be interrupted.

It’s the irrelevant, non-targeted push notifications that are forcing users to opt out and uninstall apps.

Geo detection

Geo detection allows marketers to find out where users spend the majority of their time. You can even find out location details for specified periods of time.

Retailers can use geo detection to find out when a customer last visited their store or when a customer is nearby, and then you can push out a relevant notification: “Come inside for a free glass of champagne while you shop!” or “Get 20% off when you’re next in store”.

Audience segmentation

As well as using in-app analytics, you can also integrate your app with CRM systems to gain data on your users. This means audiences can be narrowed down into different user groups based on historical habits.

If a certain group of users frequently purchase books by a specific author, you can send out a targeted push offering a discount on the author’s latest title.
Decide on your content

As well as targeting the right customers, you also need to deliver relevant information to the user. Many people are unaware that as well as text notifications, you can also send out rich media content to engage your users.

A recent example of relevant, rich media content being sent out to users through push comes from the London 2012 Join In app.

This offers attendees information on all of the Olympic celebrations happening across the UK. The app includes full event listings, searchable maps, alerts and the ability to share location pins with friends.

London 2012 Push Notification London 2012 Opening Ceremony

Head of new media for London 2012, Alex Balfour, mentions in his Olympic digital report that 60% of online visits came from from mobile devices and apps, leaving the web behind in terms of average page views per visit.

The app sent out more than 10 million location-based push messages to users in the stadium and at other Olympic venues. Push notifications included ceremony photos and upcoming events. Nearly 60% of app users enabled location-sharing and location-based pushes achieved clickthrough rates of around 60%; nearly ten times higher than clickthrough rates for games-related emails.

These stats go to show that timely, relevant and location-based push notifications can achieve a high level of engagement with users. It’s the notifications that arrive at 3 o’clock in the morning with no purpose that are driving users away.

Push notifications are becoming an incredibly powerful communications channel and can be sent even when the user isn’t engaged with the app. Because the channel is so personal, it’s easy to take advantage of it. Brands need to ensure they are interrupting their mobile customers to add value to their day, not to disrupt it.

Back-to-School-Mobile marketingConsumers got an early start shopping for back-to-school stuff this year looking for bargains like free shipping. In fact, 94% of shoppers in a Google survey admit that a promotion or sale would persuade them to purchase a product.
Searches for sales began trending two weeks earlier compared with 2012, according to a Google study released Wednesday, which attributes the trend to mobile devices and the ability to research products on search engine and Web sites from anywhere.
A little more than a third of online shoppers will use their smartphones as an on-the-go tool. Of these, 66% will use their smartphone to locate a retailer nearby, 64% will compare prices, and 43% will search for store item availability. The study estimates that college students will spend nearly $614 on average — double the amount for high school students at $347, and elementary school students at $298 per student.

About 75% said they will purchase clothing or apparel; 72%, classroom supplies; 44%, books or magazines; and 41%, electronics.

The move by consumers to research products early and the ability for marketers to target those searches point to success through analytics, number-crunching and ability to analyze audience segments. On YouTube, back-to-school shopping searches have doubled this year compared with last year.

Videos that appear as television ads and on YouTube have become the tool of choice for many brands. Some 73% of shoppers who are watching online videos for back-to-school shopping look for product reviews, according to Google. In a 2012 study, four in 10 shoppers visited a store online or in-person as a result of watching an apparel video.

Searches trending on Google and YouTube not only identify particular back-to-school hot items and trends like school makeup tutorials, they strengthen the ability of brands and retailers to more closely connect with consumers, using videos that show what a consumer purchased, why they bought it, and why the viewer should buy it — of which 205,000 have been posted by the site in the past week.

Kmart, for example, kicked off a merchandising strategy that connects with kids through language, and parents through perks like layaway, online reserves, and pay-in-store programs. These days, public schools expect parents not only to  purchase pens and paper for their kids, but donate reams for the entire class.

In the latest Kmart ad running on television and YouTube, kids banter “Yo Mama” on the playground. One says “Your Mama has so much game, she couldn’t even store it on that tablet,” while another says “Your mother is so fiscally responsible. she got all that on free layaway.”

As businesses become aware of the growing importance of mobile marketing, many are still in the dark to as to what it actually is, how it works and what the actual benefits of mobile marketing are.

Having said that there are many different aspects or components that make up the entire picture in regards to the approach and the “tools” required to take your marketing efforts to the next level . Introducing your business into the “stream” of the mobile requires some or all of the following: Mobile friendly website, QR codes, of course the most powerful marketing tool in existence today, the mobile marketing app.

Most people can easily understand the importance of having a mobile website. With over 40% of local Internet searches done on mobile devices,( 2012)  it’s a no brainer as to why a business would want to offer a good mobile experience.

QR codes are also becoming more visible in the media and in publicity / marketing efforts.  The idea of the QR code is to offer an easy way of accessing  coupons or other information directly from a person’s mobile device, or to direct them to the company’s website or to the their mobile app. Again without getting into too much detail , it is pretty obvious as to what the advantages and benefits  are of the QR code.

So what about the marketing app ?  Here is a list of the benefits in simplified form.

Apps are popular with business owners and their customers. With today’s market going mobile, Apps help you keep pace:

Benefits for Business – Apps:
Build relationships
Build loyalty
Reinforce your brand
Increase your visibility
Increase your accessibility
Solve the problem of getting stuck in spam folders
Increase sell-through
Increase exposure across mobile devices
Connect you with on-the-go consumers
Generate repeat business
Give you tools that are driving the “New App Economy”
Enhance your social networking strategies

Benefits for Customers – They’ll receive:
Easy access to your inventory
Notifications of special events, launches, and more
One-touch access to your contact information
Directions to your location from wherever they are
Fast, seamless appointment scheduling
Automatic recording of their next appointment
Automatic reminder of their next servicing date
A record of their mileage and most recent servicing
Embedded QR Code Scanner
Free one-on-one Chat
Extras: parking markers, loan calculators, and local gas prices

Why is a Mobile App better than browsing the Mobile Web?
It’s much faster. It takes a second to launch a Mobile App. It can take up to several minutes for a Mobile Web site to load in an area with bad reception.

Mobile Web Sites are important but they do not replace the need for Mobile Apps for the following reasons:

Mobile Apps: Function offline
Mobile Web Sites: Don’t

Mobile Apps: Enable Push Notifications for Direct Contact with Customers
Mobile Web Sites: Don’t

Mobile Apps: Always visible on your phone’s home screen
Mobile Web Sites: Not always visible

Mobile Apps: Appear in the Apps Stores
Mobile Web Sites: Don’t

What are other businesses doing?
Big businesses like Amazon, eBay, Target, and Gap, started promoting their brands and merchandise with Mobile Apps a few years ago. Smaller businesses quickly followed suit. Auto dealerships, hair salons, realtors – a whole host of industries – jumped onto the App wagon. Why?

Because Mobile Apps are the most affordable and effective way to reach out to customers these days.

What can you do with a mobile App?
Build Loyalty
Generate Business – and repeat business

It is easy to see what the power of mobile marketing apps can offer, however there is another very important benefit to the business owner. Return on investment.

Many businesses spend a fortune on mail outs and other traditional advertising. Over time with a  proper marketing strategy, it has been proven that businesses over time can start to decrease spending on mail outs and other expensive advertising . As more and more people download your company’s app, the more people you can reach out to directly with offers through  push notifications without the huge costs and efforts required through traditional  methods.

Think about it, if your business sends out flyers to the same customer base multiple times a year, that can cost a small fortune , literally into the thousands of dollars per mail out.

However imagine over time as more and more people download your app, you can start reaching them instantly with push notifications instead, without any extra cost and with much less effort and time .  This idea can be applied to newspaper ads, magazine ads and any other traditional marketing methods, resulting in much lower costs as you can reduce the amount of traditional advertising required as your app base grows.

Hopefully this article has helped shed a little light on the possibilities and benefits of mobile marketing apps.






girls using smart phoneStudy: Canadians Want More Mobile Marketing

Study Canadians Want More Mobile Marketing Study: Canadians Want More Mobile MarketingMobile marketing is reaching Canadian mobile users with increasing frequency. And they’re welcoming it with open arms, according to the latest research.

SAS Marketing Research finds that 58% Canadians actually want more mobile marketing.

38% of Canadians readily admit that they would buy more if presented with more promotional offers on their smartphone while out shopping.

“When you couple the power of the smartphone, with really smart analytics, retailers have an opportunity to forge some really strong customer relationships, and elevate their marketing to new levels,” explains Lori Bieda, Executive Lead for Customer Intelligence at SAS Americas.

“Retailers who recognize the power of customer information and analytics and use it to deliver location-smart personalized offers to consumers, when and how customers want them, will win the lion share of the shopping basket,” Bieda adds.

Overall, the findings show, women appear to be a “few steps ahead of men” when it comes to taking advantage of mobile marketing opportunities.

Women were more likely to say they would return to a store that offered them smartphone-based, localized promotions (51 percent versus 43 percent of men).

Women were also more likely to cash in on smartphone based in-store deals, with 44 percent (versus 31 percent of men) saying they would buy multiple items when presented with relevant promotions.

“Retailers with both an online and bricks and mortar presence should consider offering purchasing suggestions to their customers while they are in store,” the study summary reads. “Seven in ten surveyed said they find it helpful when retailers make suggestions based on their previous online purchases.”

Mobile SearchesMarketers spent 16% more on paid-search campaigns in Q2 2013 compared with the prior year, but the cost per click continues to rise across engines, according to a report released Thursday.

Across the board, The Search Agency clients reduced the amount spent on desktop campaigns by 12.5% YoY in Q2 2013. Smartphone and tablet investments rose by 70.4% and 74.7%, respectively.

On Google, the average CPC across devices rose 8.3% YoY and 21.2% sequentially for The Search Agency clients, while the average CPC on Bing rose 18.9% YoY and remained relatively flat sequentially.

The click-through rate (CTR) fell across all devices on Google. Desktop CTR by 6.8% YoY and 24.1% sequentially; smartphone CTR, 15.6% YoY and 16.2% sequentially; and tablet CTR, 23.8% YoY and 26.2% sequentially.

Results tell a little different story on specific devices. Desktop CPCs on Google rose year on year and sequentially, 9.6% and 20%, respectively. Smartphone CPCs fell 4.9% YoY, but rose 23.8% sequentially. Tablet CPCs rose 25.3% YoY and 27.8% sequentially.

On Bing, desktop CTR rose 12.2% YoY, but fell 18.2% sequentially. Smartphone CTR decreased dramatically, by 27.2% YoY and 28.2% sequentially. Lastly, tablet CTR dramatically increased YoY, up 120.9%, but remained flat sequentially.

Desktop CPCs on Bing rose 21.9% YoY and 1.1% sequentially.Smartphone CPCs fell 3.7% YoY and 13.8% sequentially. Tablet CPCs rose 8.9% YoY and remained relatively flat sequentially.

Among The Search Agency clients, Google’s click share fell to 86.9% in Q2. The engine’s share of impressions, compared with Bing’s, rose 3.1% to 77.1% in Q2, YoY, and by 1.1% sequentially. Advertisers also spent less on Google, with the amount falling 2.5% to 83.8% in Q2, compared with the prior year.

It’s clear that consumers continue to increase searches on smartphones. Google’s share of impressions by device among The Search Agency clients changed dramatically during the past year. In Q2 2013, Google held 75.3% of impressions’ share on desktops, 13.7% on smartphones, and 11% on tablets, compared with the year-ago quarter. In Q2 2012, Google held 87.8% share of desktop impressions, 6.1% on smartphones, and 6% on tablets.

Bing’s share of impressions by device among The Search Agency clients also changed dramatically. Q2 2013 Bing held 87.5% on desktop, 8% on smartphone, and 4.4% on tablets. In Q2 2012, Bing held 93.5% on desktop, 3.1% on smartphones, and 3.3% on tablets.

Mobile sales are explodingFor some e-commerce sites over the last year the growth in activity, from smart phones especially, has been meteoric. According to a sample of 18 of its major brand retailers, the e-commerce platform Branding Brand saw the share of mobile visits to commercial sites reach 34.3%. That share represents an increase of about 5% in a single month and a year-over-year increase in smart phone visits of 83.6% and from tablet visits of 49.2%. Among the 18 sites tracked between June 2012 and 2013 the share of smartphone visits rose from 12.9% to 21.5%, and the share of tablet visits rose from 9.5% to 12.8%.

Even more striking is the increase in actual orders being made from devices, up 100.7% from smart phones and up 60.9% from tablets. In June, 5.9% of orders were coming from smart phones, and 12.6% of orders to the sampled sites were coming from tablets. In terms of overall revenue, however, devices still represent less than 20% of sales. Maintaining its reputation as more of a browsing device than a buying device, smart phones were responsible for only 4.6% of revenue to these commerce sites, while tablets were driving 13% of revenue. When it comes to conversions, the desktop continues to rule with the rate of 2.14% compared to 1.69% on tablets and a mere .47% on smartphones.

And despite the larger market penetration of Google Android phones, Apple’s iOS-based iPhones are responsible for 76.1% of smartphone revenue going to these 18 sampled sites. And when it comes to tablet commerce, iPad dominance is absolute, at 99% of revenue measured.

Branding Brand’s data represents a limited sample of course. It is using an unspecified selection of 18 sites from the 150 online commerce locations that the company drives. But overall the platform includes major brands such as American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Eastern Mountain Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Crate & Barrel among others.

As of the first quarter, more than eight in 10  U.S. mobile consumers used their devices for shopping within the past 30 days. The 84% who shop on smartphones and tablets marks a five percentage-point increase from the year-earlier period.

New Nielsen data defines mobile shopping as using a device to make a purchase, research products, find stores, check prices, read or write a review, use shopping lists or comment about a purchase on a social networking site. Reflecting the broader mobile shift, more than a quarter of mobile shoppers say the now buy more frequently via mobile than on their PCs.

Mobile shoppers are split evenly by gender, though women are more likely to purchase physical goods than men. They also skew younger and more affluent than the general population. Most (57%) are under 45 years old and 34% are under 34, up from 29% from a year ago. The share of mobile shoppers in the 25-34 age segment has increased the most in the last year, to 28% from 24%.

In terms of income, Nielsen’s first-quarter “Mobile Shopping Report” noted wealthier consumers tend to be more active shoppers on devices, with 35% earning more than $100,000. The study also pointed out that the share with household incomes below $50,000 has grown the most, up eight percentage points to 21% from a year ago.

Overall, mobile shoppers with lower and middle incomes made up more than half of the total. The expansion of mobile shopping across income groups likely reflects the greater availability of lower cost smartphones and tablets in the last year and wider device adoption overall.

Findings from the Pew Research Center last month last month estimated the majority (56%) of American adults own a smartphone and a third (34%) have a tablet. In the latter case, tablet penetration has jumped from just 3% in May 2010, while smartphone adoption is up from 35% two years ago.

Research also indicates people favor tablets over phones when it comes to m-commerce. Nearly a third (30%) of U.S. tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices, compared to only 13% of mobile phone users, according to a Forrester study released in May. M-commerce sales overall increased 31% in the first quarter, accounting for 17.4% of total online sales, up from 13.3% a year ago, per IBM’s Online Retail Index study.

Article courtesy of MediaPost

Mobile Push NotificationsRestaurants have always relied on print coupons to bring in more diners and increase their profits. In the digital age, your restaurant can leverage mobile marketing to bring in even better results.

1. Customer Coupons
According to industry service website,, mobile coupons are seeing a 1,000% higher buy rate than print coupons, at a fraction of the cost. Better yet, mobile app coupons require none of the print and layout costs associated with traditional ones. Set up a rotation of different kinds of offers to snare different kinds of buyers.

Buy one, get one free
Get a side item free with purchase of an entree
Percentage off entire order
Discount on purchases over a dollar amount — like $5 off purchases over $25

6 Ways Mobile Marketing Apps Help Restaurants

2. Timed Delivery
You can increase response rate by sending your push notifications at key times. Between 11 am and noon, people are deciding where to go to lunch. Your text message can become the deciding factor. The same goes for 4 pm to 5 pm, when people are deciding where to have their after-work drinks.

3. Loyalty Programs
Repeat customer rewards (the equivalent of punch cards), and company announcements, can be integrated in your restaurants app. Again, electronic delivery means no printing and layout costs, making the program much less expensive and far more efficient. Automated systems can also send personalized loyalty offers — like a free dessert coupon on someone’s birthday.

4. Focused Marketing
By formatting your coupons and other offers so that customers have to respond to activate them, you’ll be armed with an updated list of the people who engage with your mobile marketing. These people are the ones who will give you your best return — information marketers spend millions of dollars on every year to learn.

5. After Hours Presence
A sign on your website and store front can post your restaurant’s QR code for potential customers even when nobody’s “at home.” Better yet, set up a small projector to cast the QR code onto your window,  as part of an attractive display.

6. Customer Communication
Making your mobile marketing a two-way street can give your campaign an even better response. A simple satisfaction survey can help your customers feel listened to, and foster a sense of ownership and belonging.  A highly effective way to involve your customers is to ask them which coupon they would most like to see — then send it out an hour before the lunch rush.


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