Saturday, July 10, 2010

Optimizing for Mobile

Last month I bought my first smart phone. A Droid, since my cellphone provider is Verizon.

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was telling me about optimizing websites for mobile viewing, and now I get it. Even though my phone will not replace my laptop the way my laptop replaced my desktop computer, I see the benefit of "apps" for smart phones.

Check this out: Talking Isn't All That Matters to Cellphone Users Survey Also Finds Price/Value Most Important Factor in Choosing Service Plans

Cellphones are necessary tools by which many Americans get information these days, with an increasing number of people looking for phones which offer access to email, the internet, picture-taking and even calendars. New research, conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation's Mobile Retail Initiative shows an increasing number of people want to be "tuned in" more than ever before.

According to the most recent survey of 9,578 adults used in this analysis, nearly nine out of 10 adults (87.5%) say they have a cellphone, an increase of 17.9 percent from January 2006 (74.2%).

With e-commerce now expanding to m-commerce, many people want the luxury of being able to shop or browse company's websites from their phone. The survey found 41.5 percent of adults want a cellphone with Internet access, compared to just under one-third (32.6%) who said so in July 2008. More than half (51.4%) of adults 18-34 years old say they want to be able to surf the web on their phone, compared to the 41.0% who said so in July 2008.

"Americans expect more from their phones than the ability to talk to family and friends," said NRF President and CEO Matt Shay. "Aside from sending pictures and sharing stories and experiences over social networking sites, consumers want to be able to connect with their favorite retailers in a way they never have been able to before -- instantaneously. The emergence of m-commerce has created a paradigm shift that has the retail industry very excited."

When it comes to other cellphone features or attributes, adults say email access has also increased in importance over the years. Over half (51.1%) of 18-34 year-olds say they want a cellphone with email access, up from 28.1 percent in January 2006. But young adults aren't the only ones who favor email access: according to the survey, 42.6% of all adults want email on their phone, up significantly from 22.5 percent four years ago.

Survey respondents also said that phones with cameras (59.0%), calendars (42.7%) and text messaging (55.6%) are important attributes. When it comes to why consumers switch cellphone service providers, four out of 10 (41.3%) adults say pricing/value is their top reason, with other important factors including coverage (31.6%) and plan options (22.1%). These factors remained consistent in every age group except cellphone users 55 and older, who listed their priorities as: pricing/value (41.3%), coverage (28.9%) and customer service (17.9%).

"The combination of new technologies coupled with consumers' desire to adopt these new apps are redefining the cellphone into a 'consumer communicator'," said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President of Strategy, BIGresearch. "Marketers and retailers should leverage shoppers' needs to stay connected by providing information and communications to assist them with their purchase decisions."

(Source: National Retail Federation, 06/17/10)

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