As I travel throughout the U.S. it seems that no one in the airport is without a mobile device. Whether they’re 8 or 80, they are all using mobile devices of some sort!
Just 10 short years ago, in 2002, smart phones were a twinkle in the eye of early providers like RIM, who released the Blackberry in 2003. This first edition smart phone was embraced by business people for its larger screen size and full keyboard, making it easier for on-the-go executives to type emails, read documents and in general, conduct business while they were out and about. Believe it or not, Blackberry had about four years to dominate the market before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. Android was rolled out two years later, in 2009, and by 2010—just eight short years—over 297 million smart phones had been sold worldwide.
In 2011, that number increased by about 40% with a total of 491 million smart phones sold last year alone. It’s estimated that by 2015, nearly 1 billion smart phones will be sold, adding to an already large population of smart device owners. If we figure in some tablet numbers (i.e. iPad), the number of smart mobile devices in the market is nearly staggering.
So, what does this mean for you? It means, that “if you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy,” as Ian Carrington Director of Mobile & Social Advertising Strategy for Google was recently quoted as saying.
The good news is, with the increased number of units on the market, the number of opportunities for businesses of any size to have a mobile presence has risen dramatically as well. Whether it’s placing banner ads on targeted mobile sites or apps, creating and promoting your own app or working with a partner like DROSTE CONSULTANTS to make turn-key apps work for you and your customers, you can get on board the mobile train. Which is good, because as you can see, it’s moving full steam ahead.
If this past holiday season taught us anything it’s that we’re addicted to our mobile devices.
- U.S. smartphone penetration is up to 44% and 57% of those owners access the mobile web and download apps on a regular basis
- Time spent with mobile devices has also risen to 65 minutes per day, which is second only to TV
- Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners have looked for store information on their device while 32% have actually made a purchase
- By 2015, it is estimated that m-commerce transactions will amount to $670 billion
Is your business ready for the mobile revolution? At DROSTE, we are releasing our first client-branded Mobile App, DROSTE iOrder and we know this is the wave of the future. As smartphones get smarter (hello, Siri), businesses must advance their thinking as well. Having a readily accessible app that delivers a stellar mobile experience is the key ingredient to capturing a portion of these m-commerce dollars.
Not convinced? A recent survey indicated that 2 out of every 5 shoppers who have a negative mobile experience with a brand will not come back. They won’t try again on a laptop or desktop computer, won’t make their way to a brick and mortar retailer, they won’t even try accessing the mobile application again. Imagine if you lost two out of every five customers who came into your store. Scary, right?
While getting an app launched is time-consuming there are some interim steps you can take. Ensure that your location can be found on other mobile-heavy applications such as Foursquare, Shopkick or Yelp. Make it easy for customers to find you and you’ll make it even more enticing for them to shop with you. And don’t forget that having a website that can be accessed on a mobile phone is very different from having a mobile-enhanced website. Mobile is our future and it’s time for businesses to jump on board.
If you’d like to know more about DROSTE iOrder Deli/Bakery Pre-Order Mobile App, please visit the link on the site or contact us at 978-686-5775. We’d be happy to show it off and discuss ways we can help you join the mobile revolution!
Sources: M-Commerce Booming On Tablets, Online Media Daily, November 2011; 2 in 5 Mobile Shoppers Penalize Retailer for Unsatisfactory Site, Marketing Charts, November 2011
A few weeks ago, Kathy and I attended the Bozzuto’s Independent Retailer Conference with two of our employees, Megan and Jeff, to discuss iOrder, our iPhone app. At the invitation of Bozzuto’s, we had a small booth space down “technology row” as we liked to call it, to demo iOrder on both my iPhone and iPad.
Reception to iOrder was terrific, overall. Many folks who stopped by were very interested and as no one is really marketing apps to the retailers in this space, smaller-sized independent grocery chains, it was a great opportunity for us to showcase what iOrder can do and what an iPhone app could mean for their stores.
Many of our booth visitors however worried about the level of technology required to run the app, mainly an iPhone, while others worried that their current customer base would not be so eager to adopt this sort of technology. Let’s take a look at these concerns, as they are definitely valid.
It’s true that the iPhone, while seemingly ubiquitous, only has about 25% of the Smartphone market share in the United States. So, while it may seem like everyone has one, the truth is, they don’t. Concentrations are definitely higher in densely populated urban areas as well as among a slightly younger demographic, than other Smartphones, like Blackberry, which cater to an audience of 40+. Before investing in any technology, especially mobile, it is important to take stock of your location. A few small stores in rural Mississippi probably wouldn’t have use for this because their main customer base more than likely doesn’t have an iPhone. However, a corner market in a suburb of New York City or Los Angeles could greatly benefit from the exposure and functionality of an app like iOrder.
As far as adoption goes, it’s true that different people have widely different views on technology. While it’s easy to generalize and say that older adults don’t use technology and young adults and 30-somethings do, that’s doing a disservice to your customer base. The truth is, a 50-year-old grandmother is just as likely to have an iPhone to stay in touch with her newest grandchild, as a 20-something who relies on the technology for GPS and game-playing.
Whether your customers will embrace an iPhone app depends on a two things—one that’s out of your control and one that’s not.
1) Is the app easy to use and useful?
That’s our job, to make sure the app we’ve programmed is one that your clients will want to use.
2) Are you as excited or more excited about introducing this kind of technology than we are?
If these issues are the only things holding you back from adopting new technology like an iPhone app, there’s only one thing to do—go to the source. In the case of iOrder, that would be deli customers. Next time you’re walking the store, go visit your deli counter and ask a few customers if they’d use an app that allowed them to skip waiting in line. Or even, ask them something far simpler: Do you have an iPhone?
With the recent introduction of iPhone to Verizon Wireless, the United States’ largest wireless provider, the chance that iPhone will gain a greater piece of the Smartphone market is good. Wouldn’t it be great if you and your stores were ahead of the curve with a fully-branded iPhone app available in Apple’s App Store?
Personally, I’m a big fan of the “front” of the curve. Even better, I like to lead the way. I’ll bet you do to.
Until my next post, take care and prosper,
As I stood in the security line at the airport during my last business trip, I saw something that caught my attention. Considering how often I fly, this is no mean feat. A guy next to me handed the security guard his phone, the guard put the phone into a little device, looked at the ID and waved the guy through. Curious, I asked the security guard what had just happened. He told me you can upload your boarding pass to your phone, thus avoiding finding a printer when you’re traveling and having to print out your boarding pass. Unfortunately, not all airports have this technology yet, but to me, this is an even bigger indicator of how far we’ve come with both mobile technology and the software that powers it.
I know things like this shouldn’t surprise me, especially since I am a product of the computer/electronic age but it did get me thinking about what a quickly changing world we live in.
Ten years before I was born, the first working computer was introduced. It was so large it needed its own room. The Army financed the research for it during World War II. Punch cards were an integral part of the operation and I remember booby-trapping my sister’s car for her honeymoon with computer punch card “confetti.” (This was before the debacle of the ‘hanging chad.’) Twenty-four years later, HP introduced a basic, programmable computer that could fit on a desktop and in 1981 the Osborne Corporation and Epson released the first “portable” computers.
In 1981, IBM sold its first PC and this is when my fascination with computers began. After three years as an Accountant, I left that job for one at a computer store and not long after that exposure, I decided to start my own business writing software programs. The rest is history and the changes in our lives that have occurred since the first PC are phenomenal.
Today we have iPhones and smartphones, which offer us the capabilities of a computer, literally in the palms of our hands. In 62 years, we’ve graduated from a room-size computer to a handheld version. Now, depending on your age, you may think this evolution happened at a snail’s pace. Yet for many baby boomers, it has happened within their lifetimes. Think of all the words relating to computers that are now a part of our daily vocabulary – word processing, video conferencing, hyper text, thumb drive, email, net book, web browsing, Google, voicemail, Wi-Fi, bluetooth are only a few. Google was even declared the word of the decade (by the folks who declare these things) and is now part of Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. This simply illustrates that while change happens at it’s own pace, we are constantly enjoying the benefits of these technological innovations. And I love it.
Until my next post, take care and prosper.