In order to deliver top-quality products, marketable apps, and effective IT consulting, mobile developers and IT professionals need to know how consumers are really using their mobile devices. By reading market research, you not only keep tabs on the industry, but you can also reduce your business liability.
That's why we've synthesized some of the latest mobile research for you. That and reading about this stuff is just plain cool. It's fascinating to see how mobile technology becomes incorporated into the professional and personal aspects of our daily lives.
Researchers at Exacttarget.com tracked 470 mobile users for a month and analyzed how they used their devices. The survey, which was completed in January, offers a detailed portrait of the contemporary mobile user. Let's look at how you can use this data to optimize mobile development and the services you offer your clients.
Mobile Trends: The Habits of Mobile Users in 2014
Mobile developers and IT professionals should keep in mind the following information when developing mobile technology for their clients:
- Importance of mobile tech. Eighty-five percent of users claim smartphones and mobile technology are a central part of their lives. Many report that they use their phones 3.3 hours a day.
- Confusion of terms. While tech people think that "mobile" refers to tablets, e-readers, and smartphones, most users primarily use the term "mobile" to refer to smartphone technology. Many of your non-tech clients are probably confused about this, too.
3.Smartphone vs. tablet users. Many consumers use multiple mobile platforms. However, the users who own tablets in addition to iPhones or other smartphones have some interesting and distinct features. These users tend to be wealthier and older (+35 years). Businesses that don't develop tablet technology miss out on a chance to target a strong base of users.
4.Dissatisfaction with mobile webpages. More than half of users surveyed felt that mobile-optimized websites didn't offer enough content. Obviously, when designing the mobile version of a website, many web developers will strip down the content and streamline it. Unfortunately, this means that many users find these websites unsatisfying. (To read more about issues related to customizing mobile content for your clients, see How to Talk Apps with Clients.)
5.Consumers love / hate targeted advertising. For the most part, consumers who opt into location-sharing advertising and other targeted ads are satisfied with what they receive. In particular, they like information about upcoming sales and offers. However, many users opt out of these services because they are still creeped out by location-sharing and ads that target them based on their shopping patterns. Give your users the choice to opt in or out!
- Customers are loyal to a point. About half of users follow a brand on social media, but about half of those who do are ready to unfollow a brand if it doesn't offer meaningful (and helpful) content.
- Consumers see mobile-friendly companies in a more positive light. It should come as no surprise that consumers judge companies based on how good they are at integrating mobile technology. Consumers see tech-savviness as a sign of the overall quality of the company.
That's a lot of important information about the habits of mobile users. Now let's break it down into what this means for small businesses like yours.
How to Optimize Mobile Apps and Marketing to Give Users What They Want
Mobile app developers, big data firms, and mobile marketing companies should take away four main points from this new research:
- Content is king (again). Mobile users don't want to miss out on any content when they access webpages via their mobile devices. Though it may be a challenge, developers should keep as much as possible when they streamline web and mobile content. (To learn more about data breach risks and other liabilities involved with developing for mobile technology, see our post The Mobile Future and Why You'll Need E&O in It.)
2.Cross-platform integration is important. Users enjoy interacting with companies that have a consistent mobile presence. Users want webpages, mobile apps, and other access points to have the same look and feel.
3.Different platforms might mean different markets. While having a cross-platform presence is important, marketing firms might target tablet users differently. Tablet users tend to be older and wealthier than smartphone users, who are a more varied group.
4.Mobile is the new face of a company. First impressions are important. And it turns out that consumers judge brands based their mobile platforms. Having a substandard mobile experience is a bit like having a dingy storefront or unfriendly staff. Consumers want to see that you care about your mobile presence. They'll take it as a sign of the quality of the business.
Keeping up with these developments in mobile research is an important way for IT firms to protect their professional liability. If a client thinks your work doesn't develop the sales they expected, they can actually sue you for lost profits and poor performance.
Whether you run a marketing firm or work as a freelance developer, Errors and Omissions Insurance can cover lawsuits that might arise from disputes about your work. To learn more about this business coverage or to get a quote on small business insurance, submit an online insurance application or look at a sample E&O Insurance quote.