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WP Touch vs WP Mobile Detector

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Is Your Blog Ready For Mobile Search Traffic?

To kick off the New Year, I’m doing a mini interruption on the “How To Bring Your Team Online Without The
Overwhelm” series to address one of the most powerful trends in 2011.

Mobile, Mobile and Mobile!

While talk of the mobile explosion is nothing new, you
might not have known that there is such a thing as mobile search results. And
mobile search results are different from standard desktop results as they are
generated by Googlebot-Mobile. Yep he or she, is a special bot dedicated to mobile!

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Minorities More Active on Mobile Web

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Minorities More Active on Mobile Web

Hispanic mobile users are nearly 17 percentage points more likely to use mobile web than whites

While whites make up the lion’s share of US mobile phone and mobile internet users, a new eMarketer forecast estimates Hispanic, Asian and black mobile users in the US access the mobile internet more often than their white counterparts, and that they will continue to outpace whites in mobile internet adoption through 2015.

eMarketer estimates that about two-thirds of US mobile users will be white at the end of this year, decreasing to 64.1% to 2015 as black, Asian and Hispanic consumers inch upward in mobile adoption.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Moms Prefer Digital Shopping Over In-Store

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Digital usage and ecommerce increase when women
become moms.

Describe almost any mother of small children and one word comes to mind:

Two recent studies verify this truism by showing that women spend less time with media outlets such as TV and magazines—but more time online—after becoming a mom. An Eric Mower and Associates survey, for example, found…

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Filed under eCommerce, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Tablets and Smartphones Used for Shopping InStore

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checking off items on their shopping lists more than ever before. Thanks in part to the growth of tablet device ownership among US households, consumers are using mobile devices for product research, online shopping and to help make decisions while in brick-and-mortar stores. According to a Google holiday shopping study conducted by Ipsos OTX, 77% of tablet owners plan to use them this holiday season for shopping.

The Google study indicates that tablet owners…

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Filed under eCommerce, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Social Mobile User Engagement

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Vitrue explored how mobile users are engaging with social networks, in particular how they are connecting with brands on Facebook. Our goal for this whitepaper is to provide effective insights and engagement strategies for mobile social engagement. This information will allow marketers around the world to be prepared for the continued rise of smartphone and tablet proliferation, plus the rapid adoption of social networks. The insight and best practices provided in this study will answer some of the key mobile social questions that leading brands and marketers around the world are asking.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Minorities Seem to be Using Tablets Most

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Asian-Americans join Hispanics in early adoption of emerging devices

Asian-Americans are avid users of new devices and are among the first to buy tablets and ereaders. They join US Hispanics on the top rungs of the technology early- adoption ladder. eMarketer’s estimate of US tablet users shows that 14.4% of Asians have used tablets monthly this year, vs. 12.6% of Hispanics and just over 10% of blacks and whites. The gap will narrow as the years pass, but it will take until 2014 for whites in the US to reach the same tablets penetration level as Asian-Americans.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Tablets and Smartphones Used for Shopping In Store

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Tablets and Smartphones Become
Holiday Shopping Assistants

The majority of online purchases still made via desktop

This holiday season, consumers are consulting mobile devices for help
checking off items on their shopping lists more than ever before. Thanks in
part to the growth of tablet device ownership among US households,
consumers are using mobile devices for product research, online shopping and
to help make decisions while in brick-and-mortar stores. According to a Google
holiday shopping study conducted by Ipsos OTX, 77% of tablet owners plan to
use them this holiday season for shopping.

The Google study indicates that tablet owners have a higher likelihood of using
the devices for online shopping than smartphone owners. When it comes to
using mobile devices for in-store shopping though, roughly half of both
smartphone and tablet users said they are very or extremely likely to use their
devices—perhaps surprising given the typical tablet’s inability to fit into most
people’s pockets.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

TV Mobile Viewed More than Print

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US adults spend more time with mobile than print
magazines and newspapers combined

Despite an increasing fixation with all things digital—including online video
viewing—US adults are still watching more and more traditional TV, whether
it’s live or recorded on a DVR or DVD, eMarketer estimates. The average adult
consumer spends 4 hours and 34 minutes each day watching TV and video on
a traditional television set this year, up 10 minutes from last year.

Time spent with the internet and mobile phones was also up—by 7.7% and
30%, respectively—and while adults are spending less time than last year with
radio and print publications, the increases to TV and digital also mean an
increase in total time spent with media, to 11 hours and 33 minutes.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Merry mobile Christmas: m-commerce takes off

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As shoppers hunt down bargains and gift ideas for the holidays, it will be hard for some to remember a time when they couldn’t pull out their smartphone and hunt down a store location, compare a product’s price, or scan customer reviews.

It’s only been a short while since smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad arrived on the scene in a meaningful way, but already these devices are having a profound effect on how shoppers behave and how retailers communicate with them.

Mobile shopping only makes up a tiny fraction of retail sales, but it is accelerating at a brisk pace. Last year, about 3.8% of all ecommerce sales were made on mobile devices, according to John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM Coremetrics.

At the moment, mobile has grown to a 9% share of all online sales, but that number could rise to about 15% to 16% of all ecommerce sales over the holiday season, Squire said. The growth is even more impressive when you think that online sales are also accelerating.

It’s all about value

According to a Deloitte study, almost half of all consumers say they will shop for holiday gifts online — a double-digit increase from last year. This makes the Internet the No. 1 shopping destination, now tied with discount stores, for the first time since Deloitte added the channel to the annual study.

One of the main reasons is that consumers say they can find more competitive prices online, and increasingly these consumers realize smartphones and tablets are another tool they can use for this research.

Within the next five years, more than half of U.S. consumers will be actively using their mobile devices regularly for shopping, according to a recent study by L.E.K. Consulting.

This activity will drive m-commerce sales to about $31 billion by 2016, estimatesForrester Research. The figure represents a compounded annual growth rate of 39% from 2011 to 2016.

Couch commerce

To look only at sales receipts, however, misses the broader influence mobile is having on the retail industry.

Take Thanksgiving. Much has been made of retailers such as Toys ‘R Us and Walmart Stores kicking off their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving evening. But many retail analysts expect the shopping will begin long before the doors open at Toys ‘R Us at 9 p.m.

Last year, the busiest days for mobile shopping was Thanksgiving, and this year the volume is only expected to increase.

So all those complaints about the millions of Thanksgiving dinners being ruined by the early start of the Black Friday madness miss the point that many Americans are already doing their holiday shopping in a tryptophan-induced haze from the comfort of Grandma’s couch.

“People aren’t really waiting anymore,” said Claudia Lombana, a shopping specialist at online payments service Paypal.

Better experiences

Another reason why m-commerce is accelerating is retailers are simply providing consumers with better experience. Most retailers have improved their mobile sites and some have developed applications to make it easier to shop.

There also has been a lot of attention paid to improving the way email displays on mobile phones, said Heather Blank, vice president of Strategic Services at Responsys. This includes increasing the font size of the emails to make them easier to read on smaller screens or making the call-to-action buttons bigger so they are easier to click, she said.

“The assumption is that people are going to be saving emails and referencing emails as they shop,” Blank said. Typically, about 10% of emails are viewed on a mobile device, but during the holidays that number could rise to 20%, she said.

Email remains a powerful tool for retailers, according to Blank. Last year, 89% of the top online retailers increased the number of promotional emails they sent during November to December compared with the earlier months.

And retailers have more tools at their disposal to make these emails more effective, according to IBM’s Squire. For example, retailers can tailor email messages to the types of products a customer is likely to be interested in, or they can send fewer emails if they detect recipients are leaving the emails unopened.

More valuable consumers

SMS text messaging is another area of focus, according to Blank. One reason for this is that consumers who opt in to email or to receiving texts from a retailer are likely to be a more valuable consumer.

This gives retailers permission to engage in promotional events that they might not with a broader audience. For example, Williams-Sonoma is not a retailer known for aggressive sales or deep discounting, but the company can provide special offers to their customers who opt-in for text messages. These deals help improve the relationships retailers have with these loyal consumers.

“There is tons of data that show multichannel customers (those who shop online and in brick-and-mortar stores) are more valuable,” Blank said. If you layer in that a consumer has opted to receive messages from a store and are also affluent enough to own smartphones and tablets, a portrait of an extremely valuable consumer emerges.

Look for the QR codes

This holiday season, you’re also likely to see more store signs and mailings that incorporate QR codes, which can be scanned by a mobile phone to redirect shoppers to a website. Retailers are using these codes for special contests and to provide shoppers with more information about products. For example, a shopper at Macy’s may be able to scan a QR code near a piece of Martha Stewart cookware and see a video of Stewart demonstrating how to use the product.

JC Penney is giving its customers an opportunity to attach voice messages to their presents using QR codes.

The codes, which the retailer calls Santa Tags, take a few steps to step up, but some gift givers are likely to appreciate the ability to add an extra touch to their gifts.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how well these products serve the consumer.

According to mobile ad network Jumptap and Comscore, nearly a third of mobile device owners have made a purchase with their device. Tablet owners are even more likely – about 63% of tablet owners say they have made a purchase with their device.

Gabe Donnini, a data solutions engineer at Chitika, a data analytics company for online advertisers, points out, though, that a one-time purchase is not enough to keep mobile sales growing. It has to become a “repeat, ingrained behavior,” but he sees the utility of the platform driving consumers to mobile.

“Mobile is empowering consumers to make good purchasing decisions,” Donnini said.

And at the end of the day, that’s what consumers want: the knowledge that they scored a great deal.

Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Why Marketer Love for QR Codes Is Not Shared by Consumers

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Quick-Response Codes Tuck Media Neatly Into an App, but Only 5% of Americans Have Actually Used Them

Quick-response codes are everywhere these days, even the soccer field. This fall, a squad of London footballers shaved the back of their heads in the design as a promotional stunt. But consumers are not nearly as excited about QR codes as marketers are.

The codes are a great idea in theory. They let marketers make all sorts of media — print, billboards, even packaging — clickable and interactive. When scanned with a special app downloaded to a smartphone, QR codes can call up links, text messages or videos. They can spark e-commerce or generate a lead.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a QR code on its keyrings offering more information on the car.

But in practice, while QR codes are affixed to everything from rental cars to Bratz dolls, only 5% of Americans who own mobile phones actually used the 2-D barcodes in the three months ending July 2011, according to Forrester Research. And those 14 million early adopters tended to be young, affluent and male. 

Experts cite three reasons that QR codes haven’t caught on. First, people are confused about how to scan them. Two, there’s little uniformity among the apps required to read them. Last, some who have tried the technology were dissuaded by codes that offer little useful information or simply redirect the user to the company’s website.

None of this deters marketers, who seem to be slapping the codes on products for all age groups and demographics.

“QR codes are definitely everywhere,” said Kelli Robertson, director-strategy for digital agencyAKQA.

The QR phenomenon is “another instance of shiny-object syndrome,” said Melissa Parrish, Forrester’s senior analyst-social and mobile marketing. “Something becomes trendy or sexy, and marketers feel they have to jump onboard to position themselves as innovative and make sure they don’t fall behind.”

Car-rental outfit Enterprise pasted QR codes on the driver-side windows of 1 million of its North American vehicles so passersby can get more information about the automaker.

JC Penney put the codes on holiday tags so that gift-givers could include a recorded greeting on the box — one of many QR-code programs from the retailer.

Codes should be accessible, and users should be rewarded for scanning them., which generates codes, published a list of the worst campaigns of the year. It included marketers and publishers with unreadable or obscured codes. Some were offered in areas with no internet access, which means a scan cannot load anything to the phone. Red Bull put QR codes on the subway, and United Airlines had them on in-flight magazines read primarily far outside cell-service range.

In a well-meaning misstep, MillerCoors partnered with Seattle bars and restaurants over the holidays so that patrons who had imbibed a bit too much could snap a QR code to get a cab. The effort assumed that revelers still had enough dexterity to aim a phone and get a clear shot.

“Marketers fall in love with tools and forget the reality of how they’re used,” said Ms. Robertson at AKQA.

The appeal to marketers is clear. Implementing the codes is far less expensive than developing a proprietary app. They offer the ability to measure consumer activity and can provide shoppers with information, freeing up salespeople and increasing productivity.

But what’s the risk of the many QR codes that are unhelpful, don’t work or are so complicated that it would be easier to enter a URL?

“If you are not paying off [the QR scan] with content that’s rewarding or valuable, then the experience falls flat and consumers won’t use it again,” Ms. Robertson said.

Despite low usage, marketers are staying loyal to QR codes.

Home Depot, for example, put QR codes on plants this spring so that customers could learn more about the items and which go best together.

A spokeswoman for the home-improvement retailer acknowledged that adoption has been slow, but the company continued to test the technology on artificial Christmas trees and lights.

“I haven’t found any brands that have totally scrapped the codes,” said Ms. Parrish at Forrester.

Education may also be an answer. Last spring, Macy’s did national TV ads on its QR codes, and shoppers who scanned them got informational videos from clothing designers. The initiative exceeded expectations and got positive customer feedback, according to a spokeswoman. Use of the codes tripled after Macy’s tweaked the content and offered shorter videos in the fall.

Filed under Mobile
Jan 4, 2012