We’ve already talked about some of the mobile stats in previous posts, and hopefully you understand how big the mobile market is. But here are some additional insights and wisdom about why mobile shopping and mobile marketing is something you can’t ignore.
Mobile Phones Are Really Mini Computers
Come on, really? That’s kind of obvious, right? No. Believe it or not, even the average mobile phone user doesn’t realize that his or her phone is really a small computer. You can do browse the Internet, answer email, play games, take pictures and videos, update social networks, and if you still have time, make a phone call.
The fact that these phones are more powerful than all the computing power sitting on a college campus 20 years ago means that people are using them for everything. The only thing you can’t really do on them is graphic design or writing a lot of text. But for everything else, people are happy to close the lids on their laptops, go out with friends, and interact with the world on a tiny high-def color screen.
Mobile Computing Is Expected to Surpass Desktop Computing
Earlier this year, tablets began outselling laptop computers for the first time, while others believe tablets will replace laptops as the dominant computing platform by 2016. While some may argue that this is because we have reached a saturation point of laptops, while tablets are still new enough to fill a new need, the point is, mobile computing is going to be huge. Even if it never actually surpasses desktop computing, it’s still a force to be reckoned with.
So, don’t think this is all going away. Batteries are lasting longer, phones and tablets are getting faster, and screens are getting bigger. And thanks to iPads, we’re able to carry around half a laptop with more computing power than what we could get for $2,000 ten years ago. People are going to keep using it, and if they can’t find you, contact you, or interact with you through it, they’re going to ignore you.
Mobile Websites Are Making It Super Easy for People to Buy
We’re a finicky society. We don’t do things if they’re a little difficult. Know why Starbucks mobile app is so popular? Because tapping a couple screens on your phone is soooo much easier than rummaging through your heavy purse or deep dark pocket to heave out your heavy wallet and risk dismembering yourself on your overly sharp credit card. Tap a couple screens, scan the bar code on your phone, and voila!, you’ve paid for your coffee.
Mobile marketers are making it so easy for people to spend money that they’re finding ways to make carrying an extremely thin credit card a royal pain. So think about this: if you want people to use their mobile phone to buy from you, your process needs to be easier to use than carrying a credit card. Tap into that, and you’ll get people who want to buy strictly because of the cool factor.
The People Who Have Smartphones Have Money
Who carries a mobile phone and uses it properly? Young people with disposable income, Generation Y who has a capital-J Job and no family, and even Gen Xers who like the cool factor of the technology, and are high enough up the career ladder that they have some money to spend.
For all of our talk about the sluggish economy, those are three groups of people who are still spending money. They’re spending it on $200 – $500 smartphones and their $30 – $100 per month data plans. Know where else they’re spending their money? At the hip, cool places that let them use their hip, cool phones to easily spend money.
We’re Spending as Much on Information as Utilities
Calculate your monthly cable, Internet, and cell phone bill. Now, how does that compare to your water or energy costs? Chances are, you’re spending more on your cable bill than you are on your water bill. And those three information-centric utilities together are only slightly less than your heating and cooling bills.
We’re spending so much money on gathering and consuming information. The same stuff our parents and grandparents could learn from three TV stations, the local radio, a $2 per week newspaper subscription, and a good set of encyclopedias we’re now spending as much as $250 per month to learn. That number is only going to go up, especially as these other trends become more and more viable and valuable. If you want to take advantage of this, there is still plenty of time to jump on the mobile bandwagon. Do it now, and you could be the king of mobile marketing in your community or your industry.
About the author: Duncan Alney is the president and founder of Firebelly Marketing. He is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and photographer, and he’s working on his first social media marketing book, which will be out in late 2012. Duncan has lived on 3 continents and in 5 countries, but is proud to call Indianapolis home.
Photo credit: efrick (Picasa, Creative Commons)