2011 saw a surge in mobile users, but 2012 is the year when smartphone owners become the majority of users, currently hovering just below 50% of U.S. mobile phone users. Tablets, too, take center stage with a near 24% CAGR in adoption.
- Tablets comprise 7% of population of all mobile devices owners
- Android users spend on average 1.24 hours daily engaging with the device
- 77% of smartphone users put their phone to work while shopping
- 58% of adults are somewhat or very likely to make a purchase on their smartphone (this will only become standard one day)
One of the biggest areas impacted by this constant change in market dynamics is of course retail. This past holiday season only proved the point. Consumers scanned barcodes or QR codes to check prices nearby and online. And, before they would consider finalizing the purchase, they would ask for a little help from their friends by taking to social networks or review sites to validate decisions.
Avoiding Mistakes and How to Win
1. Align mobile with other key teams
Winning mobile teams are tightly aligned with marketing loyalty programs (if applicable) and e-commerce teams. For example, Starbucks built its wildly successful application not around revenue or loyalty card adhesion, but instead around ease of purchase.
2. Focus on what the user needs
Mobile strategies should be holistic and remain focused on what users are seeking. Informational apps may seem simple in design, but a solid strategy seeks to solve the “information” problem, not just the “mobile” problem.
3. Allocate the resources necessary to make mobile successful
Allocation of the necessary resources at U.S. pharmacy and convenience retailer Walgreens is at the forefront of everything the company does in mobile. The Walgreens app used the mobile device’s camera to scan a prescription barcode to initiate a refill, is an example of “multichannel lite” activity.
4. Mobile means multiple platforms
One of the few retailers profiled that has built a tablet and smartphone version of its app along with a fully featured mobile website, Zappos, worked many processes in parallel to get its application off the ground.