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Kristin Sprague

Mobile, Measurements and Memory Lane

April 1, 2014

Last month marked the 30th birthday of the consumer cell phone. In 1984, when the first consumer cell phone was sold, it was used exclusively for conversation and was only in the hands of the very affluent. Who knew back then that today the mobile phone would be one of the most ubiquitous items known to man and that it would rarely be used for conversation, but would be used for text messaging, email, gaming, shopping and web search.

If that fact wasn’t impressive enough, in April 2010 iPads first hit the consumer market. In four short years, 195 million iPads have found their way into the hands of users, more than 61% of the U.S. population.

Remember back about the same time of that first consumer cell phone being sold? How many screens were in your home then? If you were the average 80’s family, you had one in the living room. Today, when we look around the average living room, it is saturated with screens--the television, smart phones and tablets. All of which are capable of browsing the internet.

Why walk down the digital “Memory Lane” you ask? Facts like the ones above and others such as, mobile search surpassed desktop search in 2013, almost 10% of the average American’s day is spent on a mobile device, and 4 out of 5 consumers use mobile devices to shop, give validity that mobile marketing is no longer a plan for the future; mobile marketing it is a plan for now.

A 500-word article does not give us enough space to cover the many elements that are important to a mobile marketing strategy, but it is enough to cover one area of thought, and statistics, to reflect on.

A mobile optimized website. There are many reasons why this should be a leading consideration for 2014. As people are shopping from inside and outside of their homes, they are conducting a lot of activities. First consumers are searching. When they do, Google refers mobile optimized sites for searches conducted through mobile devices. The addition of a mobile compatible website alone will help lower website bounce rates, increase conversions, benefit organic search presence and prevent a competitive disadvantage. Second, consumers have less and less patience. A desire to obtain information quickly has taken the forefront. On an average, 28% of visits to websites are coming from mobile devices. About 79% of those people will leave a non-responsive website when using a smartphone within 3 seconds. Third, tablet shoppers spend more. Tablet leisure time research leads to a higher per in-store purchase than shoppers who do not use mobile devices in any part of the shopping process, by 18%.

Lastly, in 2013 online traffic from mobile devices rose 46 percent year-over-year. As the days of single screen homes move further into the past and as consumers grow more and more dependent on their mobile devices, a strong mobile presence is an essential component of any successful retail strategy.