09 Mar Why Mobile Is Indispensable for Direct Engagement
Most of us use our mobile devices constantly, but to understand why mobile is so indispensable to engaging consumers, it’s important to consider the extent to which mobile seems to dominate our lives and behaviour. According to a recent Pew survey, a full 21% of American adults are online “almost constantly”, whether that’s in receiving a notification, checking their phone or actually using it for searches and applications.
What’s more trends predominate among younger generations, with 36% of 18- to 29- year-olds going online almost constantly, and 50% going online multiple times per day. These trends are intense, compounded with the quality of this usage, as in August of 2015 Pew found that 14% of respondents were specifically using their smartphone’s browser “continuously”. For the business community to capitalize, it’s important to understand the prevalence of this usage internationally as well.
Mobile Not Only Indispensable, But International
Mobile has not only been adopted in North America faster than any other technology, but has saturated the globe at a faster rate than any other device – networked or otherwise. Bain & Company’s 2015 global survey asked nearly 115,000 consumers which they’d miss more for a day among the phone or physical wallet, and more than half chose their phone, with that share reaching 79% in China. It would seem that across the world, communication is more necessary to consumers than payment, and brands need to adapt their thinking about what’s really convenient for customers as a result.
There’s more than simple behavioural considerations here, however, and as Boston Consulting Group would evaluate it, the sheer economic implications of consumers’ mobile behaviour is staggering. Evaluating it in 2014, they looked at 13 economies that constitute 70% of global GDP and concluded that the surplus consumers perceived from their mobile activity was roughly $3.5 trillion alone. In an environment where business may find it difficult to add value for consumers while also increasing profitability, mobile engagement is an area where consumers inherently perceive value before even considering cost, and by the time of BCG’s survey mobile was already generating $682 billion in revenues annually within these major economies.
Closer to Consumers, Mobile Strengthens Customer Loyalty
As it consumes a greater portion of developed and growing economies, mobile will also represent an inflection point for the loyalty brands can get from their customers, even though this may seem opposed to the flexibility the platform offers. According to Jennifer Schmidt, partner at McKinsey & Company, “(Mobile’s effectiveness in fortifying customer loyalty) may seem counterintuitive given mobile’s role in creating greater transparency, but we see it as much as tool to be used for good as for evil.”
According to McKinsey’s study, consumers consider 30%+ more brands than they did only a few years ago because of the easy access they have to information via mobile. In beauty retail, one quarter of consumers sign up for loyalty programs on smartphones, while 60% of their website visits are driven by mobile as of July 2015, doubling in only a few years. While often being faulted for conversion, Schmidt says that both phenomena now predominate with mobile browsing, implying that mobile responsive engagement solutions are an unprecedented opportunity for enterprises to maintain close relationships with their consumers.
Mobile Remodels Engagement in a Way Everyone Can Follow
It took 76 years for the telephone to reach half of all US households. It’s taken the smartphone 10. Amidst this cascading megatrend in which digital technology breaks through into endless mass-market applications, including everything from agricultural drones to genome editing, PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts a “Third Digital Wave” will culminate. In this environment, consumers will go about extracting value from their digital identities, “expecting organisations to know what they want and to really deal with them as individuals.” Mobile is not only the platform which enables this, but they key platform to engage consumers with one-to-one relationships that affirm their loyalty to preferred businesses.
By implementing customer engagement tools like Online Scheduling, Click-to-Call, Live Chat and more in a mobile-responsive way, enterprises can offer new touch points for their mobile relationships with clients, whether through apps or webpages. Integrated with CRM, email marketing and more, these tools can allow total continuity within a business’ interactions with each and every client. Filling in the contingent relationships, time-sensitive services and instant support that customers demand has always been crucial, but the prevalence of mobile and the need to execute by those means will only prove even more indispensable.