With mobile, location is king. That is, when it's the right location. Leveraging where a phone is located at any given moment allows fulfilment of the long-desired marketing dream of providing highly relevant messaging to consumers. At the beginning of last year, ThinkNear by Telenav started measuring just how accurate that location data used to send those phones was. The first I heard of this was during presentation at the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit in January 2014.
Any retailer not taking mobile shopping seriously is making a serious mistake. I'm not talking about the activity of shopping from a phone but rather the influence the device is having on what people ultimately purchase in a store. While most consumers don't yet buy things from their smartphones, the impact those devices is having on physical retail sales is significant. A couple of years ago, Deloitte Digital started surveying thousands of consumers to measure the actual influence of mobile on in-store shopping.
While most consumers still prefer to shop in physical stores, the smartphone has increasingly become an integral part of in-store behavior. And while the phone isn't being used primarily for payments, it is having a significant impact on the shopping trip, based on a new global study. Most consumers (85%) globally say that they have used their smartphone in-store, according to the DigitasLBi Connected Commerce study.
The challenges in serving mobile shoppers are almost too numerous to count. But then again, so are the opportunities. As marketers and mobile innovators ponder how many ways they can create a highly personalized experience for an in-store mobile shopper, those consumers seem to have some unwritten rules of their own about what they will accept.
Mobile commerce continues to grow while the opposite is true for desktop activity. A few months back, the tides turned as desktop visits to retail website fell below the 50% point as mobile took over. That shift is continuing with mobile now accounting for 52% of all visits, according to the latest Branding Brand mobile commerce index. That regular tracking report is based on an analysis of 50 websites with 72 million visits and $86 million in revenue.
Mobile commerce adds some interesting dynamics to time. A recent report pointing out that many hotel bookings are being made on mobile devices and lots of them at the last minute highlighted this yet again. There are some rather significant implications to this dynamic, extending well beyond hotel bookings.
The door to beaconing just swung open a lot wider. The mega-digital-offers company RetailMeNot is partnering with beacon platform Swirl to extend beaconing at retail to a large scale. This Austin to Boston connection promises to leverage the massive retail base of Texas-based RetailMeNot to let retailers tap into the beacon platform of Boston-based Swirl Networks.
China has overtaken the United States in app downloads for Apple devices but when it comes to revenue the U.S. continues to dominate. China's iOS quarterly downloads from the App Store grew 30% over the same quarter last year, according to a recent global app tabulation. And much of the action in iOS apps in China relates to mobile commerce, according to the latest report from App Annie Intelligence, which tracks downloads and revenue in the iOS App Store and Google Play.
There obviously are lots of great commerce-related apps available for doing almost anything previously done before mobile. Apps can be used for shopping, ordering things for delivery or pickup, paying for parking and buying movie tickets, as but a few examples. There also are apps that can do things not previously done pre-mobile.
Big mobile screens are in, but not as big as those on tablets. We've seen a string of recent research showing smartphones catching up and even passing tablets for various aspects of shopping. Now comes a piece of research that may help explain the mobile commerce transition from tablet to smartphones.