Vouchercloud has published a very interesting infographic called Portrait of a Mobile Consumer’ and it looks at how mobile consumerism is developing and the path it might take over the coming years.
“Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers. From entertainment content to productivity services, from quantified-self to home automation, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner.
Currently, apps often provide an opportunity for brands to reach and engage with customers in a direct way, and therefore data coming from the user is often treated as a resource. This is especially true of free apps, which in 2013 account for 92 percent of app downloads. App users are providing troves of data and often accept advertising or data connectivity in exchange for access to the app.
Gartner said that brands and businesses are already using mobile apps as a primary component of their user engagement strategies, and as the use of mobile devices, including wearable devices, expands into other areas of consumer and business activities, mobile apps will become even more significant.
According to the report, wearable devices will use mobile apps as their conduit for data exchange and user interface, because many of them will have few or no user interface capabilities. Offloading that responsibility to the mobile device means the wearable devices will depend on apps for all types of user input or output, configuration, content creation and consumption, and in some cases, basic connectivity.
Gartner also predicts that by 2015, cognizant computing will be a key enabler in smart home solutions. Cognizant computing can play a meaningful role at home because home settings are stable with relatively fixed equipment, and the user behavior there is routine and predictable. According to Gartner, large service providers such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are likely to have a head start in this market due to the relationship they already have with consumers, which provides them with a large repository of user data that they can analyze and predict — a key asset in cognizant computing. In addition, consumers also trust these brands to manage their personal data — another key aspect in cognizant computing, whereas newcomers will have to build these relationships from scratch.
A recent report by Juniper Research has revealed that sales of big-screen smartphones, popularly termed as Phablets, will reach over 120 million units by 2018, rising from an estimated 20 million in 2013. According to the report, the device will find particularly receptive markets in East Asian territories such as South Korea – with gamers who desire a larger surface to play on, and China – where content streamers will benefit from a higher quality screen.
The report found that the Phablet market could become a growth area for established smartphone vendors, allowing them to build flagship phablet models targeting tech heavy demographics. As proved by the recent entry of new vendors, including Nokia, Alcatel and Intex, the Phablet market will likely grow from both ends of the price spectrum with established global brands predicated to focus on higher price points allowing local players to gain a foothold in the lower end.
According to the Juniper Report, the OS market for Phablets will be dominated by two major players, Android and Windows. The Windows ecosystem will be driven by Nokia’s Lumia range, which is anticipated to find success in the more affluent demographics of developing nations. Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem will be driven by the latest in Samsung’s Note series in developed markets as well as local vendors such as Intex.
A recent report by Gartner has forecasted that Global mobile advertising spending is expected to reach $18.0 billion in 2014, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow to $41.9 billion by 2017. Gartner said that display formats will make up most of the revenue, but video will show the highest growth.
With regard to the different ad formats used in the mobile sector, mobile display ad formats are collectively the single biggest category of ads, and will remain so throughout the forecast period, although this category will shift to mobile Web display after several years of higher growth in in-app display. Uptake of the audio/video format by the end of the forecast period is higher because the tablet form factor will drive video, and the tablet market continues to grow.
The report found that search/map ad types will benefit from increased use of location data gathered from users, either through them opting into being located automatically through their devices or because they proactively check in the places they visit using apps such as Foursquare and Pinterest. As a result, local advertisers will be more interested in the mobile channel as a means of pushing ads. The split between in-app and Web display is taking longer to shift in favor of the latter, as the use of HTML5 tools in mobile website development is taking longer to impact the market.
According to the report, all regions of the world will experience strong growth in mobile advertising spend, although North America is where most of growth will come from, due to the sheer scale of its advertising budgets and their shift to mobile.
Western Europe’s market for mobile advertising will remain similar to North America’s, albeit at a slightly lower scale, for the duration of the forecast period. Asia/Pacific and Japan is the most mature region for mobile advertising, and therefore growth will slow between 2012 and 2017, averaging 30 percent a year. Historically, the unusually high adoption of handsets for digital content consumption in Japan and South Korea has given the Asia/Pacific region an early lead in mobile advertising. Looking forward, Gartner expects the high-growth economies of China and India to contribute increasingly to mobile advertising growth as their expanding middle classes present attractive markets for global and local brands.
The report found that in the emerging markets of Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, mobile advertising growth will largely track the technology adoption and stabilization of emerging economies, but will mostly be driven by large markets such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. From 2015, growth rates in this region will exceed the worldwide average.
A recent survey conducted by IDC found that survey respondents believe the smartphone is transforming the shopping experience. Around 69% of the surveyed respondents agree that their smartphone is a critical tool allowing them to have a better shopping experience. The report found that the smartphone is enabling shoppers to be more informed and more confident in their shopping decisions, as many consumers reach out to their trusted social networks while shopping. Seven in 10 respondents said they check prices using their smartphones, and five in 10 said they check reviews from their smartphones.
The research revealed that the Smart(Phone) Shopper may prove challenging to brick-and-mortar retailers. One in five survey respondents bought from a competitor while they were shopping in a retail store this holiday season. One in three respondents indicated they purchased much more online versus in a retail store this year compared to last year.
In addition to the survey, the app and mobile Web activity of over 10,000 smartphone users was analyzed during the holiday shopping season. Among retailers, Amazon dominated, with far more consumers accessing its app, mobile website, or both, than any other retailer. Brick-and-mortar retailers significantly lag behind Amazon when analyzing smartphone users’ propensity to use a brand’s app and/or visit the mobile website.
An independent study conducted by Infosys has revealed that consumers engage with retailers on Facebook (38 percent) more than they do on the retailer websites (36 percent). It found that nine in ten consumers say how much they spend is impacted by their social media engagement with a brand. Besides the impact of social media on spend, the data based on interviews with 1,000 consumers and 50 retailers across the United States, also reveals how retailers are struggling to create the kind of consistent and personalized experience online and in stores that drives increased sales.
The report found that while women are twice as likely as men to be influenced by Pinterest; YouTube influences twice as many men as women. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said that consistency plays a role in their tendency to spend with a brand (63 percent). Around 34 percent consumers said that high consistency across a brand’s channels would mean a greater spend, while a lack of consistency results in a reduction in their spending (39 percent).
Around 59 percent of consumers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence on their spending. Though 62 percent of retailers reported that they offer personalized offers in store, only 20 percent of consumers report seeing ‘in-store only’ personalized offers.
The report found that only about 39 percent of brands offer product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases online, versus only 10 percent in-store. A minority (45 percent) have offers both online and in-store. 48 percent of organizations offer personalized offers / promotions based on customers’ previous purchases only online, just 3 percent do so only in-store. A minority (45 percent) have offers both online and in-store.
According to the report, 96 percent of consumers expect retailers to inform them of new products. Only 34 percent of retailers, however, can track consumer trends in real time, reducing their ability to rollout appropriate offers which can drive sales. The report found that lack of technology is the most common factor (38 percent) preventing retailers from creating a more integrated customer experience within their organization.
According to a recent report by Gartner, Worldwide combined shipments of devices like PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones are expected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014. As per the report, among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014.
Commenting on the insights, Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner said,”The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products. Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users’ increasingly different demands.”
As per the report, mobile phones are expected to dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9 billion mobile phones shipped in 2014. Ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54 percent.
The report forecasts that in the year 2014 the worldwide tablet market will grow to 47 percent with lower average selling prices attracting new users. According to a recent consumer study that Gartner conducted in the third quarter of 2013 across Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., the U.S. and Japan, over two-thirds of tablets were used outside the home for activities such as vacation or concert. This is a similar pattern to that of smartphones as smaller form factors are driving more portability outside the home.
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs are forecast to total 278 million units in 2014, a seven percent decline from 2013. Driven by an uptake in Windows ultramobiles, the PC market is estimated to remain flat in 2014 (0.2 percent), after a decline of 9.9 percent in 2013. The Gartner consumer survey showed that less than eight per cent of users would replace their laptop with a tablet, while a transfer to an Ultrabook is almost twice this figure.
According to a recent research report by Juniper Research, In-app mobile adspend is expected to reach $16.9 billion by 2018, up from $3.5 billion last year. As per the report, the growth will be driven by several key factors including improved targeting capabilities, as well as a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising.
The report revealed that while smartphones currently account for approximately 70% of in app adspend, the growth in tablet users and usage would propel greater medium-term spend. It observed that tablet in-app adspend would be further fuelled by the fact that CPMs (Cost per 1,000 impressions) are significantly higher than those for smartphones, particularly for rich media ads, which also have higher CPMs than static display ads. By 2018, the tablet/smartphone adspend split is expected to be almost 50/50.
The report also observed that although app downloads will increase exponentially to 2018, the majority of in-app advertising expenditure is likely to be spent on advertising with social mobile giants such as Facebook and Twitter.
According to the report, by 2018, the Global mobile ad-spend will surpass $39 billion, up from $13 billion in 2013. Rich media ad spend is expected to surpass display ad spend in apps by 2018, as more engaging ad formats see huge uptake. The report also found that, advertisers can increase conversions by simply adding mobile optimised features, for instance a ‘click to call’ button, or by linking to the relevant app store.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store now has more than 200,000 titles, with the app store seeing more than 12 million ‘transactions’ per day, the company revealed.
In a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix, director of the Windows Phone apps team, said the company is “already seeing momentum build” in the Store, driven by promotions and the run-up to Christmas.
Brix urged developers to finish their Windows Phone titles or update those they already offer to take advantage of the Christmas uptick in demand and slew of recently-launched Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft introduced gift cards to encourage users to discover and purchase apps on their new devices, with the company forecasting that more than $100 million worth will be available in user accounts across 41 markets.
Microsoft is establishing more direct billing relationships with operators to boost uptake in markets where credit card penetration is low. According to Brix, there are now 51 operator connections in 31 markets for direct billing, “substantially more than any other smartphone platform”.
The company has seen a six-fold increase in transaction volume in developing markets where direct billing has been introduced.
Brix also promised “creative new approaches” in the new year to help developer reach users.
He also recommended developers focus on a number of areas to boost downloads and revenue.
These include selecting the global distribution option in the Dev Center when submitting apps to boost geographic reach, and publishing to markets where direct billing is available, as this has been shown to boost downloads.
A recent report by Juniper research has revealed that by 2017, annual revenues from mobile entertainment services will reach almost $75 billion. This substantial growth, from an estimated $39 billion in 2013, is primarily driven by the emergence of more sophisticated monetisation strategies, allied to a nascent ecosystem of app-centric mobile devices, such as smart watches.
The report found that games will continue to generate the largest share of revenue throughout the forecast period. Revenues here – and in most other content categories – are now primarily derived through a freemium model, where mobile content is upsold after an app’s download, via the in-app purchase mechanism, thus enabling the creation of an ongoing revenue stream.
Meanwhile, the report also found that Leisure & eReader apps, a segment which covers a multitude of app categories such as News, Navigation and Shopping, are also expected to exhibit strong growth over the forecast period. It also argued that there were significant longer term revenue opportunities in this sector from apps which connect to wearable devices, such as a navigation app showing directions on a smart watch, as wearable technology assumes a more integral role in the mobile ecosystem.
Juniper Research expects to see a clear ‘spike’ in mobile entertainment revenues during the Christmas 2013 period. Report author Sian Rowlands pointed out ‘Christmas provides the biggest opportunity for mobile entertainment providers in terms of exposure. Storefronts and D2C entertainment brands see a surge in activity on and immediately after Christmas Day as consumers browse and download apps for their new devices, and the recent launch of the iPad Air will undoubtedly exacerbate this’.
According to the report, the Far East & China will account for the largest share of mobile entertainment revenues throughout the forecast period. While relatively low growth is anticipated in the adult sector, where revenues continue to be diluted by free and pirated content, App discovery remains a key challenge for all those in the mobile entertainment ecosystem to overcome.