Consumers Spend More and Make Faster Decisions on Mobile

Consumers Spend More and Make Faster Decisions on Mobile

We’ve been hearing the predictions and forecasts for years, “2010 will be the year of mobile!” and then it was “2011 is the year of mobile!” But now it’s 2012, so is it finally the year of mobile?

For consumers, yes, it is.

“Mobile is ramping up faster than any other technology we have seen in the past,” says Mary Meeker of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. In fact, mobile web adoption is happening eight times faster than traditional web adoption in the late ’90s.

Are you mobile? What is your company doing today to ensure that you are making an impact where your consumers are spending a growing majority of their time? Still not 100% convinced you should be increasing your investments in mobile?

Let’s take a look at the statistics:

In its Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2011-2016, Cisco predicts that “worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold over the next five years, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month — or an annual run rate of 130 exabytes — by 2016.”

Want some context to wrap your brain around? This volume of mobile data traffic is equivalent to:

  • 33 billion DVDs
  • 4.4 quadrillion MP3 files (music/audio)
  • 813 quadrillion short message service (SMS) text messages

Mobile is following what Kleiner Perkins calls the New Computing Cycle Characteristics. When better processing power reduces “usage friction” and interfaces are improved, combined with smaller form factor, lower prices and expanded services, you have a society armed with 10B+ mobile units.

It’s simple: Mobile is here and it’s only going to grow larger and more dominant in the coming years. And that’s a good thing. The real question is whether or not you and your business are ready.

Sales Opportunity #1 – Consumers Spend More on Mobile

According to Igor Faletski, CEO of mobile optimization company Mobify, in 2011 the average desktop order for his clients was $95.19 while the average mobile order was $96.92.

Doesn’t seem like a lot at first glance, but if your consumers are spending about 2% more on their mobile devices then the difference in your company’s bottom line becomes significant.

Sales Opportunity #2 – Consumers Make Faster Decisions on Mobile

Greg Sterling, contributing editor at Search Engine Land, explains that consumers act more quickly on mobile:

“If search is a “lean forward” medium, then mobile search is a “run forward” medium. Mobile users are often expressing immediate interests or needs as opposed to people searching on PCs who may be doing research for later.”

In fact, Microsoft reports that 70% of PC search tasks are completed within 1 week vs. 70% of mobile search tasks completed in 1 hour. There is an immediacy that is inherent in mobile usage as opposed to what can be perceived as a “wait and see” mindset with desktop. So the question becomes, “Where will you be when your customers are ready to buy?”

Sales Opportunity #3 – Consumers Act More on Mobile

According to a study conducted by Performics, at the end of 2011 and start of 2012, mobile click-through rates were 45% higher than desktop. This is a key metric in establishing the value of consumers across the mobile and tablet spectrum and indicates a greater level of “tech intimacy” either with the unit itself or the atmosphere it creates for the user.

Areas for Improvement

Growth in mobile creates huge opportunities for those who begin incorporating or increasing their use of mobile as a larger part of their strategic and tactical pursuits.

Sales and Customer Service

“The biggest issue we see is that many retailers are not taking advantage of the mobile channel for customer service,” said Eric Harber, chief operating officer at Hipcricket, a Kirkland, WA based mobile marketing and advertising company.

So how does a company take advantage of the mobile universe to keep their customers happy, informed and buying more?

Be(havioral) Personal

When leveraging mobile in customer service, keep it simple. Leverage relevant offers, products and messages based on past and current behavior.

Macy’s recently used its text alert program to let consumers know about a one-day sale on the company’s mobile site. A great idea, but imagine how much more effective this could have been had they tied that marketing effort to an individual user’s shopping history?

Today’s new mobile marketplace has given rise to valuable new opportunities for the retailers who choose to adapt. Mobile should not be ignored or pushed down the list when your company ranks web-based tasks and priorities. If you take the time to create an experience that looks, sounds and feels comfortable in a mobile browser, then you’ve just empowered your site visitors to make a buying decision.

by Patrick Goliwas, Client Services

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