Mobile & PC users both consume the same information. Both do similar things such as browsing the web, playing games, listening to music, watching video, sending emails and accessing social media. However, mobile owners also download applications, send SMS and importantly personalize their phone with ringtones, wallpapers, and exterior cases.
But, today mobile devices serve as primary communication channel. With 3G mobile data networks quickly becoming reliable and affordable, we see a big shift in the way users consume information on their handhelds. Delivery over-the-air, directly to the mobile device, is now the most common form of information delivery. As a result of this more & more businesses take to mobile first and mobile only strategy. However, the biggest question for these businesses is hot to channelize their resources efficiently to tap this growing segment. It is clear that marketing and reaching out to the customer require much more than just a sexy app.
Device Penetration and User Demographics
Generally the younger consumers around the globe use more smart phone devices. However, in the countries like BRIC nations, where the network infrastructure required for smart phones is still taking the shape, feature phone & multimedia phones continue to hold strong.
In addition to this, the users in the countries like USA, UK, and Korea like to consume the information with unlimited data plans provided by the mobile service providers whereas in emerging nations less expensive & flexible data plans like pay as you go are more trending.
While mobile video viewing is not going to replace the traditional television viewing, 28 % of Indian smart phone users acknowledge that they watch less traditional television as compared to mobile viewing.
Mobile video consumption rose more than 10 percent during Q4 2012, according to Adobe’s U.S. Digital Video Benchmark study released earlier this year.
This trend also emerges with the fact that mobile viewing engages the user to view video anytime, anywhere. Also, with the surge in tablet market the video consumption pattern is quickly changing. However, the consumption of information on mobile phones happens via mobile web browsers & apps as downloading the video clips isn’t the preferred choice of the users.
Mobile Buying Decision
While consumers are adopting smart phones around the world, yet their criteria to choose the device to buy vary with country. Consumers in USA, UK, Italy seeks for good value for money & consumers in Russia look for stylish design. Consumers in China care for a wide choice of applications to use on their device.
In an increasingly digital environment, readers are gradually preferring the screen-based reading behavior.
This preference is also obvious because, in a giant web of connected content, every page is linked to another page. However, screen-based reading does cause strain on small real estate and small font size but it is compensated with the occasional reading. E-reading behavior is slowly catching up to print reading. E-reading provides the consumers an opportunity to connect to their favorite content anywhere, anytime. Users in China, USA, UK, Turkey, and UAE are more likely to buy a digital content than physical.
However, in countries like India users prefer apps related to games (39 %), social networking (29%) & video/ movies (29%) as compared to e-reading (11%).
Mobile users carry their mobiles everywhere they go. Most of the users in US & UK use their phones to search online coupons, research products and compare the products available on store.
Users from South Korea, China, Australia & USA lead the mobile banking.
With more and more smart phone features like NFC and Passbooks, users are slowly embracing the mobile shopping. However, use of NFC and location based coupons are still nascent. With 20 % of users in China & 15 % in South Korea lead over USA & UK with merely 4% & 3% users respectively who prefer the use of NFC & Mobile wallet.
With number of Wi-Fi hotspots growing steadily, nearly two out of three shoppers in US use at least one device to research and purchase while shopping, and 28% use two devices at a time. More than one third of shoppers made at least one purchase with their mobile devices during the past six months. Tablet owners tend to make a purchase on the device with one in four having purchased six times or more in the past six months. When these numbers are compared to India, it is almost negligible because the network infrastructure is inadequate as compared to US.
The relationship between the Mobile site & M- commerce is really closely knitted. Most of the shoppers prefer to access a store via its URL in a browser than by using a native app. This number is quite high for android users as compared to any other smart phone user. However, iPhone users stand out to use native apps as likely through mobile browser for their mobile shopping experience. That is why it is inevitable to provide a fine tuned mobile site shopping.
And with mobile, it’s now feasible to track an individual from the very first intention to shop for an item, to the actual purchase at point-of-sale.
Mobile Marketing & Advertising
Content providers across globe are trying to get new ways to reach the right audience. In all countries except India, smart phone owners are most likely to receive mobile ads about once a day. Indian smart phone owners receive mobile ads less frequently, with 70 percent seeing them about once a week or less.
It is very important not to forget that what users can do with their mobile. Let’s not forgo the legacy of SMS, MMS. A hard analysis is required to decide on which features a business should focus to market its products and services to the mobile consumers. It is important to determine whether the mobile will trigger awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase or loyalty. (Based on the marketing funnel or McKinsey Loyalty Loop).
Advertiser must choose an appropriate mobile channel for their business to get the best value from the mobile consumers. It is evident from the table above that a marketer must scan the market first and decide upon the methodology for promoting its business based on the user interaction.
A study by A C Neilson suggests that smart phone owners in India and Turkey are the least likely to receive or see any ads on their device. With the exception of the U.S., in developed markets, smart phone owners are most likely to receive mobile ads via apps. Russian smart phone owners are the most likely to use their phone for texting (95%), so text messages are the most common method for receiving mobile ads. Chinese smart phone owners say they receive the most mobile ads, topping all countries in ads received via online games, mobile video/TV, streaming radio and location-based services.
Mobile Consumer Behavior- Future Story
New software & hardware innovation meeting together has changed the way we communicate. In future they will only change the way we interact with our surroundings. The applications like augmented reality and assistants like Siri & Google Voice have changed the mobile phones into experts with so much information at a tap of a finger. Consuming information will become a two way process where mobile phones will gather information to provide personalize information to its users.
With the recent surge in the tablet market as well, the future is looking bright for the consumers of both the developed & emerging nations.
Hemendra Singh Tomar | Senior Business Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @hemenn