4 Key Characteristics of Mobile Consumers that Brands Need to Consider

Are you thinking about implementing a mobile strategy for your brand? If you haven’t already, consider this: in 2013 mobile phones will surpass desktops as the most commonly used device to access the web. If you know anything about us, you’ll know our stance on mobile strategy: you gotta have it. With that being said, it’s not enough to just simply create a mobile app. 57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Tailor to these people. It’s important to know who your mobile users are and what they’re doing with your app.

There is a huge difference in consumer behavior on mobile vs. desktop. It’s critical to keep in mind simple facts like that the wait time people spend on websites differs from 3 seconds on desktops to 5 seconds on mobile. Knowing the differences between mobile and desktop consumers can help you design your app differently than your website, driving better results, which is why we’ve highlighted the 4 key characteristics of mobile consumers that brands need to consider.


Key Characteristics:

1. Shopping Habits

black friday weekend device growth chart

Mobile commerce is on the rise and shopping on mobile phones is increasing. In 2012, the total sales of physical retail goods and services made on smartphones were $8 billion in the US, and this number is going to grow 4 times the size in half a decade.

Simple ways you can take action on this information is to create a streamlined mobile checkout process to avoid common pitfalls like shopping cart abandonment. Using a mobile analytics tool like Localytics, you can use funnel analysis to see areas of your app where consumers drop off from converting. This kind of knowledge can help you improve the mobile shopping experience for your customers.

For example, apps like Rue La La save your credit card information to make it more convenient for their customers moving forward, especially when time matters on a flash sales app.

As you can see in the screenshot, Rue La La has trimmed down the checkout process to literally 1 screen for existing customers. This not only simplifies the process for the customer, but gives more incentive for them to make multiple purchases because they know it will be an easy transaction. Additionally, the customer won’t dwell on the fact that they might be going over their shopping budget and abandoning their cart the way they would if the checkout process took a long time. Mobile devices are eliminating the monopoly desktops have on making purchases digitally.

2. News Consumption Habits

Mobile hasn’t only changed the way people shop, but the way they consume news as well. Everyone knows that physical newspapers are on the decline, but on the other hand, what is on the rise is news being consumed by people digitally. People haven’t stopped reading the news, they are just consuming it in different ways. According to the Financial Times, during the week desktop and mobile subscriber usage is pretty much the same. However, during the weekend, mobile drastically passes desktop usage. This proves consumers are more apt to read the news on the weekends on their mobile devices than their desktops, probably because they aren’t at work and it is easier when they are busy with weekend plans.

Being able to access the news on their mobile phones, consumers are able to stay connected to what’s around them and not tied down to a desktop at home. Now consumers can bring the news with them, and if they want to switch between different news sources they can do that as well, without bringing physical newspapers with them.

3. Couponing Habits

Consumers love coupons. According to Emarketer, the number of US mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014. If you reward your customers with coupons, they’ll have more incentive to stay engaged with your app. People want to feel rewarded when they use your app. If you see them really engaging with your app, whether they’re using it every day, checking in, or tweeting, then reward them with a coupon, letting them know you appreciate their commitment to your app.

GFK states that 44% of advanced device owners are looking for coupon opportunities on their devices and 17% have already purchased a product via mobile platforms. People are constantly looking for discounts, and if these discounts or rewards are in the palm of their hand, why wouldn’t they use them? .

4. Sharing Habits

One great thing about mobile to remember is the accessibility. Unlike a desktop, most consumers carry their phone everywhere. Mobility allows consumers to connect with their peers wherever, and whenever. Prompting them to share their locations or even their thoughts, whether it’s promoting an app publicly or inviting a friend to use it is a great way to promote your brand. Mobile behavior overall consists of consumers interacting with others through engaging with your app.

We all know those people who are constantly checking in everywhere so you know where they are every second of every day, or that person who is constantly posting what hot new music they're listening to. The bottom line is sharing is what makes apps popular. Sharing is what gets your brand out there. Mobile is breaking down the walls of communication barriers, allowing everyone to let people inside their lives.

Apps that take advantage of the social aspect of mobile strategy create good, easy ways to share. Consumers might not even notice they’re promoting your own brand while they’re using your app to share with their friends what they’re doing.


Wrapping Up

We realize that there are a lot of characteristics to look out for when implementing your mobile strategy. Key takeaways are that mobile is on the rise, engagement is key, and being strategic about how you increase engagement is crucial. Mobile strategies are hard to define, and will need some tweaking if you realize something isn’t going as planned. But once you figure out what works for your brand, you can create a truly valuable and successful app.


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