Why are they thinking that? And how is their customer experience different with mobile? As the world is going mobile, those were the questions on our mind as we kicked off an important research project with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (the Research). We were motivated to zero in on those questions because of all the technological advances that have transformed marketing of late, mobile is perhaps the biggest game-changer.
The advent of smartphones, tablets and wearable devices are key engagement portals that are driving a fundamental paradigm shift in how customers engage with organizations. As a result, how marketers engage with customers has to undergo an equally radical change.
Mobile is reshaping the customer experience
The Research indicates that the vast majority of respondents’ customer experience via mobile with businesses are still primarily passive, but are also highly influential on other interactions as evidenced by these specific findings:
- Three out of four respondents engage in showrooming, and a similar proportion uses their mobile device to check bank account and credit card balances,
- Roughly six in ten respondents use mobile to add an item to an online shopping cart for later purchase via laptop, and
- Over half of the consumers responded that they are opting in via mobile to receive information as well as promotional offers from businesses.
Consumers are app crazy
During 2014, we reached what ComScore has termed the “App Majority,” or when the majority of all digital media time spent occurs on mobile apps. The Research found that 95% of smartphone and tablet users have downloaded at least one app, while the average is 6 apps. At the same time, the most active apps identified were those for leisure or entertainment use: social media, games and music apps - not only the most downloaded, but the most used. And it turns out that banking, shopping and deal/promotional apps were the only business related apps in the top ten most actively used among the respondents.
Understand there is a gap
The Research highlighted opportunities for organizations by addressing the gap between consumers’ expectations of mobile and the mobile experience they are actually provided. That idea is significant given the growing number of consumers for whom mobile is the “first screen” and primary portal to the internet. People use their phones and tablets to read and respond to emails on the go, search the web for information and directions, and post to social media. The Research found mobile serves as the ultimate transaction convenience, particularly for the functions shown to the right.
Know the attitudes and the segments
To keep pace with the empowered consumer, it's critical to understand their attitudes around mobile. Doing that can guide strategy to capitalize on the marketing opportunities unique to the mobile environment. In additional to defining consumer mobile usage and behavior previously discussed, the Research provided insight into the attitudinal factors that impact mobile usage.
Those attitudinal factors driving mobile use patterns showed three distinct groups segmenting the mobile-active consumer market:
- Tech Reliant
- Security Concerned
- Human Touch
Each of those segments have attributes showing various stages of adoption and maturity in their use of mobile, similar to adoption curves for other new technologies.
Mobile > digital >data > analytics
Ultimately, it's the digital nature of mobile that enables brands to make customer engagements more personalized through marketing analytics. And that development enables the marketer to meet the new and changing expectations of their mobile customers.
These conclusions and more are detailed in the report based on the research, titled "Understanding the Mobile Consumer, Realizing the Opportunities with Analytics." I encourage you to download it and read for yourself what mobile consumers are thinking and doing, and what you can do about it.