Archive for the ‘Telecommunications’ Category
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Pebble, maker of an e-paper smart watch that connects to iPhone and Android smartphones, received $15 million in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the software engineering team, expand Pebble’s open development platform and scale to meet customer demand.
Pebble is a highly customizable device, enabling users to download watchapps ranging from creative watchfaces to activity tracker apps.
Pebble’s open approach to development is core to supporting a vast selection of apps that meet the unique needs and interests of users — or even enabling users to create something themselves. Pebble’s record-breaking launch on crowd funding site, Kickstarter, confirmed interest in this concept with over 68,000 backers pledging over $10 million to make Pebble a reality.
Personally, here at the TechJournal, we’re not big believers in the smart watch concept, but obviously, a whole lot of people are. We have enough trouble with the small screens on smartphones. Nevertheless, the idea appears to be catching on. We’ll see how they do in the marketplace.
“The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities,” said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble’s founder.
“This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”
Development kits available
The Pebble Smart Watch with a running app.
Pebble released the first stage of its open software development kit (SDK) in April by enabling third party developers to create watchfaces and games for Pebble. Pebble’s enthusiastic developer community immediately went to work and created hundreds of new watchfaces in just a few weeks.
Pebbler supported sites like mypebblefaces.com, forums.getpebble.com and watchface-generator.de are focal points of the growing community. Over 8,000 developers have downloaded the Pebble SDK, resulting in more than 5,000 unique watchapps and 300,000 watchapp installs in just over a month.
Today Pebble released the next stage of the platform enabling two-way communication between Pebble and the smartphone at developer.getpebble.com.
Known as PebbleKit, the update enables third parties to develop watchapps that send and receive information from a connected smartphone.
Watchapps can now be built to receive weather or traffic information, act as remote controls for a phone or internet-connected device, or display bitcoin prices. The Pebble platform will continue improving over the course of this year and into the future.
Also launching today is the Pebble Sports API. RunKeeper, a GPS fitness-tracking app, announcedsupport for Pebble two weeks ago and now that same functionality is available for integration into any sports or fitness tracker app. Other sports apps like FreeCaddie, a GPS golf rangefinder, have also released Pebble-enabled apps.
Pebble’s smart watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and are now available for pre-order at getpebble.com.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Mother’s Day online shopping grew 15 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same time period last year.
Spurred by mobile commerce, mobile percentage of sales reached 17 percent, according to IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Digital Analytics Benchmark, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail market.
Here at the TechJournal, we see this as more evidence that digital shopping – and particularly mobile – is the future of retail.
With the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimating Mother’s Day sales reaching $20 billion this year, retailers made it easier for consumers to buy for mom through their smartphones and tablets.
According to IBM’s Benchmark, mobile commerce led the way this Mother’s Day. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, consumers flocked to their mobile devices, with mobile traffic reaching 25 percent, an increase of 43 percent year over year, with the Apple iPhone and iPad as the consumer shopping devices of choice.
As retailers are making it easier for mobile shoppers to browse and buy with a tap of a finger, customizing mobile apps and web sites for on-the-go consumers, the mobile customer experience has become a top priority for retailers looking to streamline the buying process.
In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile shoppers browsed and completed purchases in three-and-a-half minutes, while desktop users took twice as long, more than six minutes, to complete their shopping session.
That three and a half minute shopping experience for mobile is an eye-opener. Does your mobile app let someone make a purchase that quickly and easily? The six-minute mark for desktop online shopping seems reasonable, although when we know what we’re looking for, it doesn’t take more than a minute at one-click sites such as Amazon.
As merchants continue to invest in upgrading support for digital shopping channels, retailers are designing for a MobileFirst market by simplifying the client experience and deepening connections to consumers.
Key findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark:
- In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, online shopping grew by 15 percent, with average order value reaching $209, representing a four percent increase compared to the same period last year.
- Department store sales grew by more than 20 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day compared to the same period last year. Retailers simplified the digital buying experience for customers, with iPad conversions increasing dramatically by more than 315 percent, with iPhone conversions increasing 184 percent.
- In the three weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, online jewelry sales steadily increased, nearly tripling with a 180.6 percent increase in that same period. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile traffic reached 42 percent, up almost 59 percent over 2012. Mobile sales reached 48 percent, an increase of 38 percent compared to 2012.
- Online sales of gifts including flowers and chocolates more than doubled the week just before Mother’s Day compared to the week before, an increase of 140 percent. Mobile percentage of sales was up 109 percent, reaching 28 percent and mobile site traffic was up 95 percent, reaching 34 percent, in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same period last year.
- In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, health and beauty sales were up 40 percent compared to the same time last year, with similar mobile commerce gains. Mobile percentage of sales reached 18 percent, a gain of 16.4 percent, with mobile traffic reaching 27 percent, up 33 percent over last year.
By analyzing these trends, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), sales, e-commerce and customer loyalty executives can better understand and respond to the needs of customers in terms what and how they prefer to buy.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
A shortage of in-house expertise is among the the biggest reasons companies are outsourcing mobility projects, according to a staffing solutions firm TEKsystems.
The study conducted on behalf of the TEKsystems Mobility Services practice represents the perspectives of 232 IT and business leaders and found that most have yet to develop the mature strategies necessary to implement mobile technology within their organizations successfully.
For an infographic detailing the findings see: http://mms.businesswire.com/media/20130515006090/en/369366/5/MobilityMarketPulse_Infographic_20130501_FINAL.jpg
Key findings include:
Organizations Lack Mature Mobile Strategies
- Maturity: More than three-quarters (78 percent) of respondents ranked their mobility strategies at low to medium maturity, with 40 percent indicating that their organization’s mobility strategy was weak. A mere 22 percent ranked their mobile strategy as being mature.
- Centers of Excellence: More than three-quarters (81 percent) of respondents indicate their organizations do not have a mobility center of excellence (COE) designed to address the unique, rapidly evolving mobile environment, illustrating an absence of an enterprise-wide approach to developing in-house expertise and best practices.
Obstacles for In-House Mobile Application Development
- Skills: Forty-one percent of respondents struggle with finding and attracting the talent and skills required to handle mobility projects in-house. As a result, almost two-thirds (65 percent) say they are likely to partner with a technology- and platform-agnostic mobility vendor.
- Variety of Platforms: Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents find that supporting the full range of popular mobile platforms is the most daunting aspect of mobile application development.
“Keeping pace with mobile technologies requires organizations to have various skill sets outside of traditional enterprise IT, which many organizations do not already have,” says TEKsystems Application Development Practice Director, Sam Malek. “Often, going outside of the organization provides the biggest bang for the buck because vendors with dedicated mobility practices can deliver the full suite of required talent and services.”
Outsourcing to Mobile Application Development Vendors
- Likelihood and Reasons: More than one-third (38 percent) of respondents have chosen to outsource the development of mobile applications. The top three reasons for outsourcing were:
- Better expertise than available in-house (67 percent)
- Lack of mobility development as a core competency in-house (56 percent)
- Faster time to completion (47 percent)
- Vendor Sourcing and Risk: On average, organizations partner with two external vendors for mobile support, with some partnering with as many as five. However, 65 percent of all respondents indicate that they would like to work with the same number of vendors or less.
- Needs: Sixty percent of respondents would like a vendor to focus more on application development, while more than half (53 percent) seek a vendor that can design and implement sound quality assurance. At least three-quarters of respondents cite developing and testing of mobile applications across different platforms, screen sizes and versions as being among the most important aspects of mobile application development. Thirty-eight percent are concerned with getting the UI and user experience right.
- Expectations: Fifty-seven percent expect their vendor to provide an innovative solution to their needs, including delivery models, tools and best practices. Eighty-one percent believe that it is important for their mobile vendor to handle end-to-end security requirements for mobile applications.
- Vendor Satisfaction: Sixty percent are looking for a better experience from their mobile vendors. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents feel their projects have been put at risk due to their vendors’ unqualified resources and skill sets.
“Vendors offering mobility as a dedicated practice increase their appeal to potential clients by demonstrating that they have a specialized staff that is familiar with the tools, frameworks and unique skills required to deliver effective mobile applications across a number of mobile platforms,” says Malek. “From there, it’s critical to maintain a close relationship with the client so that they can course correct as necessary throughout the development process and deliver a final product that is satisfying for all involved.”
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
The mobile marketing ecosystem generated $139 billion of incremental output to the U.S. economy in 2012, a significant surge from $48 billion in net sales previously reported in 2010.
While the Internet took a decade to begin fulfilling its early promise as an economic engine, mobile has exploded as a major force and an job-creating economic engine in just a few years – and it continues to flourish and expand.
Over the next five years, this figure is set to skyrocket to $400 billion representing an annual growth rate of 52 per cent. To accurately assess mobile’s economic impact, both consumer (B2C) and business (B2B) mobile sales were measured against total U.S. sales in 2012, approximately $33 trillion.
The data was reported in the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” commissioned by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the leading global trade association for the mobile marketing industry.
“MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” is the first objective and comprehensive overview of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.
Key findings from the report indicate that mobile is an economic engine that will continue to stimulate nationwide growth as a vibrant and lucrative platform. Given that mobile enables marketers to move closer to consumers than ever before, the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly proves the value and power that mobile marketing offers to marketers.
Mobile Marketing Sales Impact in United States ($Millions)
|Total Sales Impact
|Mobile Media Adv
|Mobile DR Enhanced Adv
“Results from this study prove that mobile should not be underestimated as an economic stimulator. Only a few years ago, mobile’s impact was measured by its function as a basic phone and now it is impossible to envision a world without smartphones and tablets,” said Greg Stuart , CEO, Mobile Marketing Association.
“The health of the U.S. economy depends on platforms like mobile that offer unlimited potential for growth and innovation. No other media will evolve at this pace with unforeseen opportunities to reimagine the user experience.”
Mobile to create 1.4 million jobs
Despite a recessionary economy and unstable job market, mobile marketing created 524,000 jobs in 2012 from the combination of advertiser employment as well as product seller employment. Focusing on the next five years, mobile is predicted to generate 1.4 million jobs.
To drill down into mobile’s potential on the marketing ecosystem, mobile marketing spend was measured by industry category. In 2012, marketers and retailers spent $6.7 billion on mobile marketing.
The total expenditure for mobile marketing was calculated from mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media, as well as mobile CRM. Combined spend across the three categories is forecasted to increase to $19.8 billion by 2015. Mobile advertising alone (includes voice, messaging, web, email, apps proximity and recognition) is projected to climb to $9.2 billion over the next five years.
Mobile Marketing Communications Spending in United States ($Millions)
|Total Mobile Mktg Expenditure
|Mobile Ad Expenditure
|Mobile DR Expenditure
|Mobile CRM Expenditure
The study evaluated mobile marketing expenditure across 16 industry groups. Finance, retail (excluding CPG) and manufacturing (excluding CPG) were the three largest industries, resulting in $3 billion or roughly half of the total mobile expenditure in 2012. Surprisingly, the industries that spent more on mobile marketing and advertising also represent the largest markets for mobile employment.
Mobile transforming society
“Even in its infancy, mobile has irrevocably transformed society,” said Peter A. Johnson , Ph.D., mLightenment. “With the introduction of new technology to increased accessibility and connectivity, mobile has the ability to reinvent itself and remain indispensable to the consumer and marketer relationship.”
To further demonstrate mobile’s effectiveness as a marketing communications tool, Marketing Impact Ratio (MIR) was calculated by measuring mobile sales impact against marketing expenditure. In 2012, mobile MIR peaked at $20.77. After reviewing MIR data, an unexpected insight was raised; mobile marketing has yet to experience the law of diminishing returns.
By reviewing MIR figures for the top four mobile marketing spenders, data indicated that spending more across mobile marketing platforms does not decrease the impact rate. In fact, those that spend more on mobile achieved the highest impact ratio and thus gained the most value for their mobile marketing investment. While this observation requires additional exploration, it has the potential to further distinguish mobile from other media.
A mobile-enhanced economy
Looking beyond the numbers, insights from the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly indicate that mobile has sparked a “mobile-enhanced economy” in which mobile converts every object into a medium and every place into an opportunity for a message. By empowering the “always on, always on the go” consumer, mobile has transformed people into interactive, creative, and responsive partners in the marketing process.
“While mobile’s economic value is the heart of this study, mobile is also inspiring the industry to rethink their discipline for a world that is no longer static,” said Joseph Plummer , Ph.D., mLightenment. “As people rely more on mobile devices, they will become ‘co-creators’ in the marketing process and control both the context and content of the overall brand experience.”
It would be impossible to evaluate mobile’s economic impact without addressing privacy and the current legislative climate. In recent debates, government authorities have discussed restricting or limiting the trail of information that mobile offers to marketers and publishers.
The MMA supports self-regulation and transparent communication to consumers about when and how mobile data is collected. There is a risk of overregulating the mobile marketing industry and stifling innovation if some measures being considered go into effect.
Room to evolve and innovate needed
In order for mobile sales, employee resources and marketing spend to continue to grow, as the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” strongly suggests, mobile marketing needs room to evolve responsibly and foster innovation without undue constraint from legislators, regulators or private sector bodies.
“Mobile’s influence extends far beyond the device. It is a catalyst supplementing the growth and revenue across all other mediums, traditional and digital,” said Stuart. “Currently, mobile is at a tipping point. It is not just how big mobile is and will continue to be, but it has triggered a ‘mobile-enhanced economy’ that redefines the entire marketing industry. Restricting its development by overregulating the industry would cause irreparable damage and thus reverse progress.”
Google, mBlox, The Coca-Cola Company, ExactTarget and Target assisted by underwriting the research for the ”MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study.”
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Banking convenience dominates all options amongst reasons to stay with banks, according to a new study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yodlee Interactive.
With the convenience of online and mobile banking, more customers are utilizing these services, while banks are responding by reducing the number of physical branches. This survey was conducted among 2,219 Americans (ages 18+) between February 28 and March 4, 2013.
The study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate they stay with their current bank because of convenience.
Customer service (48 percent) and the lack of/low account and ATM fees (42 percent) follow convenience as the other primary reasons. Interestingly enough, 1 in 3 of those who use mobile banking see their mobile banking experience as a reason why they stay with their banks (33 percent).
Mobile banking may keep customers loyal
Seventy-one percent of mobile bankers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their bank’s mobile and web offerings. This has led the report’s sponsor, Yodlee Interactive, to conclude that mobile banking may, in fact, keep loyalty high among bank customers as physical branches decline.
“Customer loyalty is a primary concern for banks,” says Yodlee Interactive General Manager, Joseph Polverari. “Our findings suggest a corollary between one of banks’ biggest priorities – customer loyalty – and consumers’ usage patterns for mobile banking.
With the anticipated growth of mobile banking in the next four years, banks that want to boost customer loyalty should strongly consider developing apps that increase the convenience of consumer banking.”
Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate that they use mobile banking (i.e., use a smartphone, tablet device, or some other mobile device to access their banking information). Close to half (49 percent) of smartphone owners who have a bank account access their banking information on their smartphones, compared to 36 percent of tablet owners who have a bank account.
Banking app development has yet to fully catch on with consumers on tablets. Most smartphone owners who have a bank account use their bank’s mobile app to access their banking information on their smartphone, while most tablet owners access their banking information on their tablet’s mobile web browser. This distinction is most evident among adults ages 18-44 (the largest demographic of mobile device users).
Tablet optimized apps needed
“Banks have focused on smartphone apps, but stretching the same app to work on a tablet seems to have backfired as consumers are opting for mobile web experiences on tablets,” continued Polverari. “We believe that tablet optimized banking apps represent a major opportunity to reach customers with a better and richer experience.”
Another interesting finding is that smartphone owners who use mobile banking indicate they deposit checks on their smartphone device more than tablet owners indicate they deposit checks on their tablet device (33 percent versus 22 percent).
Additionally, within this group of smartphone owners, those with a household income (HHI) of $75k+ are twice as likely to deposit checks to their bank account (44 percent) as those who make less than $35k (21 percent) and nearly twice as likely to do so as those with a HHI of $50-$74.9k (27 percent).
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
An electric car
Mobile applications are emerging as powerful tools that can engross electric vehicle (EV) users and push forward the cause of cleaner, more sustainable transportation.
Consumer engagement is viewed as critical to ensuring that the various benefits and challenges facing EVs are understood and effectively addressed.
Recent Frost & Sullivan’s Market Insight (MI) “Leveraging Mobile Apps in the Electric Vehicle Market”, finds that the market for mobile apps for EVs is still at a nascent stage with tremendous scope for innovation and development.
Mobile apps for the EV market assist EV owners by offering services that make driving and charging more convenient. Currently available apps fall into four main categories: EV apps, educational apps, EV charging infrastructure apps, and EV sharing apps.
“The main objective of these mobile apps is to popularise the advantages of EVs and reduce the limitations associated with them,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Shuba Ramkumar .
“While some apps focus on raising awareness about the benefits of owning EVs, others offer value-added services complementing use of EVs.”
EV market offers opportunities for mobile app developers
There are several offerings available but the EV market offers ever increasing opportunities for mobile app development. For instance, app developers can focus on solutions to facilitate EV authentication and subsequent payment at the charging station.
As a result of their synergies, the future for mobile apps in the EV market appears extremely promising. Already, the European market is witnessing a steady rise in the number of smartphone applications for EV and charging infrastructure. This is expected to further expand with the EU’s plans to set up more charging stations.
Moreover, as the adoption rate of EVs rises, there is likely to be a related increase in the number and types of mobile apps in the market. However, a major challenge for mobile app providers is to offer innovative and user-friendly services that distinguish them from the competition.
“Currently, the EV market is dominated by location-based apps,” concluded Ramkumar. “This means that there is a huge opportunity to grow beyond such confines and provide value-added services such as authentication, payment and smart home controls.”
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
In one of the most comprehensive studies of parents’ views on mobile devices in education, more than 50 percent of parents believe that schools should make more use of mobile devices in education and 32 percent agree that schools should require them in the classroom.
These findings are from a new study of how parents perceive mobile learning and devices in and out of the classroom. The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance and underwritten by AT&T*.
The study found –
- Parents recognize the benefits. Seventy-one percent of parents say mobile devices open up learning opportunities while, 62 percent say the devices benefit students’ learning and 59 percent say the devices engage students in the classroom.
- Parents are ready for change. Forty-five percent of parents say they plan to buy, or have already bought, a mobile device to support their child’s learning.
- Parents want to collaborate with educators. Forty-three percent of parents say they need help finding good educational apps for their children.
“Mobile learning is approaching a tipping point as parents and educators recognize the potential of mobile technology in the classroom,” said Cheryl Scott Williams , Learning First Alliance Executive Director. “Now is the time for parents and teachers to join forces to shape what mobile learning will look like in and outside of the classroom.”
With students already carrying their own devices to school, widespread mobile learning could be on the horizon.
The study found that one quarter of all K-12 students bring a smartphone to school every day – and by high school, more than half of all high-school students carry a smartphone on a daily basis. About one in six parents say that children are permitted to use their own mobile devices in the classroom – commonly known as a “bring your own device” policy.
“The opportunity is ripe for mobile learning as students are now surrounded with technology, but the study does suggest there is an unmet desire for more learning and educational value from mobile devices, both at home and in school,” said Peter Grunwald , president of Grunwald Associates LLC.
The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study recommends that educators share information and advice with parents about how to make better use of mobile devices and apps for learning.
Similarly, the study suggests industry and mobile learning advocates should work with parents and educators to identify educational apps and content. The full public report is available free atwww.grunwald.com/reports.
“Parents can be change agents in the school system. With the results of this study, educators know parents are on board with mobile learning, and their support can be enlisted to jumpstart ways to cultivate mobile learning,” said Kevin Carman , AT&T Marketing Director. “Likewise, we are committed to doing our part to help support educators and parents by providing mobile learning products and solutions that seamlessly function in the classroom and at home.”
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Two of today’s most talked about brand advertising categories are mobile and online video. Until now, however, brands have struggled with accurately and definitively measuring the return they are getting on their video and mobile ad spending, and deciding how to best allocate their limited marketing and advertising dollars.
MarketShare, which sells predictive analytics for marketers, has just completed one of the first in-depth analyses of video and mobile ad effectiveness as part of the larger marketing mix.
The study, sponsored by Google, quantifies the relative impact of these digital media across several major industries, including autos (entry level luxury segment), credit cards, cosmetics, auto insurance and smartphones, with implications for many others.
How marketing drives consumers
MarketShare analyzed vast amounts of data from Google, YouTube, and other syndicated data sources to establish how, at a category level, marketing drives consumers to engage with search, display, video and mobile channels, ultimately influencing their purchasing decisions.
“Through this analysis, MarketShare and Google are helping marketers better understand how search, online video, and other paid, owned, and earned marketing tactics influence consumer behavior and drive demand,” says Wes Nichols , Co-Founder and CEO at MarketShare.
“At the same time, we’ve uncovered new insights about video and mobile advertising effectiveness that many marketers haven’t seen or been able to quantify before.”
A Marketing Efficiency Index developed by MarketShare compares ad spending on different online and offline channels to actual results (sales or applications). Looking at the overall average for the industries analyzed, findings show that online marketing offers greater efficiency per dollar of marketing spend than offline.
Reallocating marketing dollars lifts sales
By reallocating marketing dollars, marketers with spending levels similar to the category averages studied could expect to generate an incremental 1% to 4% lift in sales. Since the total marketing spend analyzed across all five categories totals more than $8 billion, the stakes are significant.
“Through our efforts with MarketShare, we were able to develop unique category-level models for analyzing digital and traditional marketing channels more holistically, helping us better understand the full value of marketing investments,” says Gunnard Johnson , Advertising Research Director at Google.
MarketShare’s analysis of category-level marketing activity sought to measure how consumers are influenced throughout their “purchasing journey.”
By including not only paid marketing investments, but also other intermediate outcomes in the purchase journey such as a consumer’s Google queries and content views on YouTube related to a brand (both brand-uploaded and content related to a brand), this analysis went deeper into drivers of brand performance than traditional marketing allocation efforts.
A few key takeaways for marketers include:
- While offline marketing and other environmental factors continue to play a substantial role in driving demand in the categories modeled, digital spending appears to have substantial upside for greater marketing efficiency, particularly for smartphones and auto insurance.
- Desktop search continues to warrant a significant percentage of marketing allocations. In addition, mobile search is an aspect of marketing investment that this study has identified as important, especially in larger categories such as Cosmetics, Credit Cards and Auto Insurance.
- Online video investments via YouTube in the range of 1%-4% of total media budget seem appropriate for high-spend categories, with more considered purchases (e.g. luxury autos or handsets) perhaps even higher. All in all, the model suggests that current levels of brand spend in YouTube appear to be consistently underinvested.
- Quantifying the impact of other consumer touchpoints highlights the importance and potential for paid advertising to influence owned and earned contributions. In particular, the analysis was able to determine the value YouTube “owned” and “earned” content views represent, highlighting their significant overall sales contribution.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Financial incentives and mobile-based financial-management tools could increase consumers’ use of smartphones as payment devices, according to an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey of 4,000 smartphone users in the United States and Canada.
More than half of respondents who currently use their smartphones to make payments said they were highly likely to pay by phone more often if they could use their phone to track receipts (cited by 60 percent of respondents), manage their personal finances (56 percent), or show proof of insurance (56 percent) or of a valid driver’s license (54 percent).
Rewards consumers want
In addition, more than half of those who currently make mobile payments also said they were highly likely to pay by phone more often if they were offered: instant coupons from retailers when buying by phone (cited by 60 percent of respondents); reward points stored on their phone for future purchases at the store (51 percent); coupons that could be automatically stored on their phone (50 percent); or preferential treatment, such as priority customer service (50 percent).
The same value-added tools and incentives could increase the adoption of mobile payments among non-users. For instance, about one in three non-users said they would be more likely to use mobile payments if they could use their phones as proof of insurance or to track receipts (each cited by 32 percent of respondents).
And about one in five non-users said that they would be more likely to use mobile payments if they received a preferential treatment at retailers or coupons for future purchase that could be stored on their phones (cited by 21 and 20 percent of respondents, respectively).
“Our survey reveals that current users and non-users alike can be incentivized to use their smartphones to make mobile payments through rewards for usage or other value-added tools such as receipt tracking,” said Jim Bailey, managing director and head ofAccenture Payment Services in North America.
“As consumers expect their smartphones to improve and simplify their lives, financial institutions, merchants, mobile network operators and technology providers should consider incorporating new mobile payment applications to encourage broad adoption as quickly as possible.”
Security concerns greatest barrier
The survey also found that security concerns are the greatest barrier to consumer adoption of mobile payments, with 60 percent of respondents who do not use their smartphones for mobile payments citing security concerns as a reason for not doing so. Privacy issues and the convenience of using cash, checks or credit cards were the next-most-mentioned reasons, each cited by 37 percent of respondents.
“While the industry is preoccupied with the technology roll-out for mobile payments, we found that consumers are still very concerned about security and privacy issues,” said Matthew Friend, managing director, Accenture Payment Services, North America.
“In addition, a significant number still don’t see the convenience and value of using their phones to make payments. For mobile payments to achieve widespread adoption, consumers must be educated about the fact that mobile payments are secure and more convenient than other payment options. While persuading current users to become more regular users is clearly important, getting people to use this technology in the first place is the biggest challenge the industry faces.”
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Results of new remote access security research show half of companies with a remote workforce had their websites compromised in 2012, over a third had passwords hacked, and twice as many companies with remote users were victims of SQL injection attacks.
Conducted by Webroot, a leader in Internet security as a service, the new study indicates that data theft is the primary goal in new types of mobile attacks. Scenarios include malicious threats that use e-mail, SMS and mobile Web browsers to launch an attack, then silently record and steal data.
Top-level corporate study findings:
- 64% of companies allow remote access to servers for 25% to 100% of employees
- 90% of companies agree that managing the security of remote users is extremely challenging
- 71% of Web security professionals who say managing remote users is highly challenging experienced Web-borne phishing attacks in 2012
The proliferation of mobile devices for business use and the need to grant remote user access exposes corporate networks to high rates of malware threats, including phishing attacks, spyware, keyloggers and hacked passwords.
While allowing such devices to access company resources aids productivity, the potential for new exploits to compromise businesses creates significant security risks to the organization and private data. Enabling remote access to corporate servers requires sensible policies and controls to ensure network security.
The study, which surveyed Web security decision-makers in the United States and United Kingdom, found that companies with 25% or more of their workforce using remote access experience higher rates of Web attacks due to a lack of such protection measures.
“These days, there is so much risk involved from a corporate perspective that remote access protection must be part of all basic tool kits. Vulnerabilities in mobile Web browsers pose a major threat to mobile device security and our latest study shows that they have led to an increasing number of successful attacks in 2012,” said David Duncan , Chief Marketing Officer at Webroot.
“Mobile browser security is essential to reduce the vulnerabilities from websites containing malware and stop phishing attacks. This should be mandatory if employees are to have remote access to any corporate network or other corporate online resources via their mobile devices.”
What can organizations do?
The new “Remote Users Expose Companies to Cybercrime” report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current mobile Web browser vulnerabilities and includes steps to secure browser controls and reduce the risks associated with mobile browsing. You can view the full report at http://www.webroot.com/remote-security-report-2013 or visit Webroot at InfoSecurity Europe 2013, held in London in booth #D60, April 23 through 25, 2013 for a complimentary copy.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Mobile advertising will top 10 percent of all digital advertising this year and become a vital part of every major ad campaign, according to the State of Mobile Advertising report from Open Mediaworks.
The data originates from the company’s extensive mobile advertising platform, which consists of AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, 4th Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance.
The platform serves 50+ billion ad impressions per month via 12,000 mobile sites and apps, delivering a total of $400M in revenue to mobile publishers in 2012.
Highlights from the report:
- iOS regains lead over Android for impression volume and maintains top position for monetization. Mobile ad campaigns running on Apple devices consistently achieve the highest average eCPMs and account for nearly half (49.2%) of all revenue delivered to mobile publishers. The iPhone also edged out Android phones this quarter in impression volume, regaining the No.1 position it lost temporarily at the end of 2012.
- Music, Video and Media dominates both volume and revenue. Mobile consumption of music, video and media continues to climb, reaching just over 29% of all ad requests, up from 21.4% the previous quarter. This quarter, revenue caught up to volume, as we saw the category earning the largest sum of revenue (17.7%) of any other category. Business and Finance sites, however, are still the most valuable, as they produce the highest revenue per impression.
- Europe’s mobile ad market is taking off. While mobile ad traffic is accelerating across all geographies, some of the fastest growth we are seeing is from the top 5 European countries (the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain). Some 21.5% of ad impressions on the Opera Mediaworks platform are now served in Europe, up from 15% at the end of 2012. However, the United States still generates the most revenue (75.4%) on the platform, even with a diminished impression volume (50.7% vs. 60% last quarter).
“Mobile advertising, which is expected to exceed 10% of all digital advertising this year, will become a vital facet of every major ad campaign in the upcoming year,” says Mahi de Silva , CEO, Opera Mediaworks.
“The size of the audience combined with rich media and engagement rates shows we will continue to see a shift of ad dollars away from traditional media and desktop digital media to tablets and smartphones. Overall, Q1 2013 was another record quarter for mobile advertising across the world – with a particularly strong March.”
The report also explores some new findings from the Opera Mediaworks team around recent performance-focused campaigns.
By digging deeper into contextual information (i.e., device and connection type) and using intelligent prioritization to make smarter decisions about campaign placement, advertisers are showing significant improvements to both click-through rates and conversions.
To read the full report, go to: http://www.opera.com/sma/.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Building and marketing an app is becoming increasingly complex and will demand a systematic fact-based approach to handle market turbulences in the coming years.
Over the last few years, there has been something of a ‘developers gold rush’ as almost every software developer on the planet has tried to leap into the apps market looking to make a fortune off the next smash hit like Angry Birds.
Angry Birds has both free and paid versions of its popular game.
The reality is that only a very small percentage of developers create multi-million dollar smash hit apps.
With over 1.5 billion people regularly downloading mobile apps, users have downloaded more than 46 billion apps on their smartphones.
The fast-growing apps market generated revenues of $12 billion in 2012, and that figure is set to grow to $20.4 billion in 2013. Annually, revenues are growing at 35% in Europe, 50% inAsia and 30% in North America.
Learn where the money is coming from and how it will be generated in a new report published by Portio Research, “Strategies for Creating Best-In-Class Mobile Apps“
Smartphone App Market Monitor
Volume 9 Historical Data Package
While Apple’s market share of app downloads constantly fell from 81% in 2008 to 39% at the end of 2012, Android’s app downloads increased year over year reaching 42% at the end of 2012.
Both platforms now combine 82% of all app downloads. Will this duopoly last for the next years or will the market see another major change in the market structure as witnessed 5 years ago when the dominance of Symbian started to fade away?
The most likely scenario is that the duopoly will give way to a more heterogeneous mobile operating system landscape. There is evidence that already in 2013 the market will enter a new phase with more relevant mobile app platforms which would be the beginning of the end of the duopoly.
Compared to the world today, where most of the app publishers and developers are concentrating on iOS and Android, the need for adding at least Windows Phone and BlackBerry to the “served platform list” will increase over the next 2 years. If companies want to reach out to the community of early adopters they would even have to include new OS platforms like Ubuntu or Jolla to the list.
Adding HTML5 makes 7 platforms to watch and/or maintain. That is good news for the app development industry and multi-platform tool vendors but starts to become a real management task for companies trying to reach their customers with the help of mobile apps.
By comparing and evaluating different sources, the “Smartphone App Market Monitor” seeks to provide the most comprehensive picture of the app market available. the market monitor is designed to support internal discussions and business decisions, content is presented as much as possible in graphs and tables to make a key tool for any app publisher, app developer, app store and platform owner.
More information about this report and a free sample are available at http://www.giiresearch.com/report/r2g254556-smartphone-app-market-monitor-vol-7.html
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
There are lessons galore for marketers in the latest American Pantry Study by Deloitte, some of them surprising. Baby boomer interest in mobile tech outstrips that of younger consumers, for instance.
Also, while brand loyalty continues to drop among price-conscious consumers, convenient mobile and online shopping channels can help bolster a brand’s experience and boost loyalty.
Even as the economy improves, 94 percent of Americans indicate they will remain cautious and keep their spending for food, beverage and household goods at its current level, according to Deloitte’s 2013 American Pantry Study.
More than nine in 10 (92 percent) consumers surveyed indicate they have become more resourceful, and 86 percent say they are getting more precise in what they buy — attitudes that have remained consistent in the three years Deloitte has conducted the study, and across income levels.
Despite enduring frugal attitudes, few consumers feel they are making any compromise: More than seven in 10 (72 percent) consumers indicate that, even though they are spending less on household and grocery items, it doesn’t feel like they are sacrificing much, a seven percentage point increase in two years.
Store brands winning out
Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) survey respondents report they have found several store brands that they feel are just as good as national brands, and few consumers plan to switch back to national brands: Only 27 percent plan to do so as the economy rebounds, an eight percentage point decline from the previous year.
“One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession,” said Pat Conroy , vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader.
“Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands’ position. The gap between the few ‘must have’ brands on shoppers’ lists and others on the shelf may be widening, making it more important for brands to differentiate through innovation, quality and performance. Consumer product companies may also consolidate low and mid-level performers and shift investment to the category leaders.”
Brand loyalty declines, shoppers put experimentation on hold
As store brands become more entrenched in the pantry, brand loyalty continues to slide, however consumers appear to be selectively loyal to certain brands.
Brand loyalty dropped for the third consecutive year in the survey. When asked why certain brands are no longer a priority for their households, consumers cited “other brands are available on sale” as the No. 1 reason. However, brands to which consumers are most loyal significantly outpace their lower performing counterparts by 20 or more percentage points on attributes such as performance, experience and trust.
Consumers have also honed in on select brands they will consider. More than eight in 10 (84 percent) consumers say they have a specific set of brands in mind, and will purchase whichever one is on sale. When using coupons, 71 percent indicate they will use them only for items they would have purchased anyway.
Shoppers are also selective about the retail channels where they are willing to purchase certain items.
Consumers surveyed shop an average of 2.5 channels in each product category, compared with an average of 5.5 channels (including grocery, mass merchandise, club, drug, convenience, dollar, neighborhood market and online) for all of their food, beverage and personal goods combined.
Loyalty cards’ importance in consumers’ cross-channel shopping has increased, as the number of consumers with three or more grocery loyalty cards has grown from 28 percent in first American Pantry Study in 2010 to 39 percent in the most recent survey.
Additionally, 58 percent of shoppers surveyed use shopper loyalty cards in grocery stores every time they shop, up 14 percentage points in two years, and 30 percent participate in a loyalty program via their smartphone while shopping in a store. Consumers appear to feel a sense of reward from these efforts: Eight in 10 (80 percent) say it is fun to see how much money they can save by using coupons or a shopper loyalty card.
Online options in demand for household goods, grocery; Mobile shopping interest growing fastest among baby boomers
The 2013 American Pantry Study reveals an unmet demand for online shopping options, particularly for in-store pickup and at-home delivery. While 14 percent of shoppers surveyed currently buy consumer products online and pick them up in the store, 43 percent indicate they would like to do so, with strongest demand appearing in food and beverage categories for in-store pickup.
Approximately one in 10 (11 percent) survey respondents purchase online with home delivery, and the number rises to 34 percent among those who would like to do so, primarily for household goods such as laundry soaps and tabletop disposable paper products.
“Consumers are drawn to the convenience of purchasing frequently-used food, beverage and household items online, and brand preferences will likely extend into their online buying habits,” added Conroy.
“Consumer product companies can use mobile and online channels to strengthen the functional and experiential brand attributes that translate into conversion and loyalty. They should consider aligning their digital efforts with consumers’ location and context to reach shoppers online and on their phones, blending into their list-making, meal planning, product and price-checking, family activities and health and beauty routines.
“They may also market channel-specific product offerings and use these platforms to make product suggestions based on target consumers’ prior shopping behaviors.”
Interest in mobile growing among baby boomers
The latest American Pantry Study also indicates that interest in mobile technology is growing at a higher rate among baby boomers than younger consumers.
Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents age 45 to 70 indicate they are interested in using mobile coupons they can scan at the checkout, up from 12 percent in last year’s survey, compared with a six percentage point increase among respondents age 21 to 29.
Shoppers surveyed are tapping into their smartphones outside the store nearly as often as they do inside the store. Three in 10 (30 percent) consumers manage a shopping list or recipe while in a store, just three percentage points higher than those who do so offsite during the shopping process.
For more information about the 2013 American Pantry Study, including in-depth survey findings, please visit:http://www.deloitte.com/us/pr/2013APS
Monday, April 15th, 2013
In the year that mobile access will overtake fixed-line access as the world’s primary way of going online, multiple technological, economic, and demographic factors are converging to give mobile the capabilities, scale, and reach achieved by few other technological advances, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group.
In “Through the Mobile Looking Glass: The Transformative Potential of Mobile Technologies,” BCG argues that the realization of this scale and reach is beginning to drive new waves of innovation in companies and economies around the world.
The BCG report outlines three main models of mobile’s development.
The operator-centric “collaborative” model is best exemplified in Japan, where mobile use is most advanced and has had the broadest consumer impact, driven substantially by aggressive partnership building by telco leader NTT Docomo. More than 500,000 merchants now participate in Docomo’s mobile-payment service, for example.
The “competitive” model is most evident in the United States, where players at all levels of the mobile “stack” compete to provide products and services to other industry participants as well as to consumers.
Although this model has created thousands of application entrepreneurs and driven mobile’s penetration of many traditional industries, its impact is limited to some degree by fear of “frenemies.” Many companies see the potential of mobile; they also fear that other players will use it to invade their turf.
A third, “greenfield” model is unfolding in many developing markets, such as India and several African nations, which have seen a big increase in the use of mobile phones over the past decade. In these countries, most consumers’ experience with the Internet will be entirely through mobile devices and technologies.
“Forty years after the first mobile phone call, the playing field is uneven, but this does not necessarily benefit rich countries or nations with extensive telecommunications networks, as some might suppose,” said David Dean, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report.
“Innovation can come from anywhere and in fact may be more likely to come from places without legacy business models to protect. Perhaps more than any previous technological phenomenon, particularly an advance of such radical proportions, mobile has the potential to be a hard-hitting economic leveler.”
Impact on industries varies
Mobile’s effect on different industries has thus far varied, and this will probably continue to be the case, although the principal difference ultimately is likely to be in speed of adoption rather than extent of impact. In the media and retail sectors, for example, mobile is hastening and deepening the disruption wrought by the Internet.
By contrast, in health care, industry complexity and entrenched interests have thus far limited mobile’s sway, even though consumers, providers, insurers, and other participants all recognize its potential to improve care and lower costs.
The BCG report argues that mobile’s rapid development presents both policymakers and business leaders with a host of complex, rapidly evolving challenges. Governments are hampered by their inability to assess change and address its implications at anywhere near the speed of technological advancement.
Do a mobile “health check”
Companies can simplify the nature of the issues they face by putting their businesses through a “mobile health check” — a roster of questions that clarify their readiness to operate in an increasingly mobile age.
“The overriding question that CEOs need to ask themselves is whether consumers and employees can engage with the company through the device of their choosing, at a time and place of their determination, and come away from the experience satisfied and having accomplished what they set out to do,” said report coauthor Sampath Sowmyanarayan, a BCG partner and global leader of the telecom sector of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice.
“The answer for most companies today is no. Those businesses that are first to be able to give an affirmative response will have a decided advantage as some 80 million Millennial consumers in the United States alone mature into full-fledged economic participants and the next billion consumers come online in developing markets. For these groups, their online experience is going to be 100 percent mobile.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.
Friday, April 12th, 2013
You can see what’s hot and what’s not looking at the merger and acquisition picture in any industry, and in online and mobile, analytics, SaaS, mobile payments and food service and content firms are like spice to the big dish Internet companies these days.
Deal volume increased three percent relative to the prior quarter in online and mobile industry mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2013, according to mid-market investment bank Berkery Noyes in its mergers and acquisitions trend report, but transaction value decreased 50 percent, from $15.8 billion in Q4 2012 to $7.9 billion in Q1 2013.
The SaaS/ASP segment experienced the largest quarterly rise in volume, improving 16 percent. Meanwhile, transaction volume in the E-Commerce segment increased six percent between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.
Highest value deal
The segment’s highest value deal in Q1 2013 was Google’s announced acquisition of Channel Intelligence for $125 million.
In addition, major financial technology players completed several large Online and Mobile payments acquisitions during Q1 2013. For instance, ACI Worldwide acquired Online Resources Corporation for $203 million and FIS acquired mFoundry for $120 million.
M&A involving transactions with a large mobile component increased 33 percent over the past three months. Along these lines, there were several acquisitions in the food service information and content space.
Yahoo, OpenTable buys
This included Yahoo!’s acquisition of Alike, which enables users to make recommendations about their favorite food establishments; and OpenTable’s acquisition of Foodspotting, an application that helps users share information about particular dishes.
With four transactions, Yahoo! was the most active Online and Mobile Industry acquirer during the quarter. Several of Yahoo!’s recent acquisitions demonstrate its renewed focus on mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer .
Yahoo! has already completed three mobile transactions thus far in 2013, acquiring social news application Summly, as well as applications Alike and Jybe. In contrast, Yahoo! only made two mobile transactions last year, both of which occurred in Q4 2012.
E-marketing and Search segments
As for the E-Marketing & Search segment, M&A activity increased nine percent in Q1 2013. \
“The ability to better profile and target consumers has necessitated the development and growth of companies that can analyze shoppers’ behavior and develop appropriate offerings to the consumer,” said Evan Klein , Managing Director at Berkery Noyes.
“This shift has led to the growth of data analytics businesses and, with the need to develop deeper relationships with consumers, the growth in loyalty marketing companies.”
Just call me Larry.
Regarding the segment’s social media marketing subset, one notable acquisition in Q1 2013 was Twitter’s acquisition of BlueFin Labs.
A key goal of acquiring the social television analytics company is for Twitter to gain additional advertising revenue by leveraging viewer data. TiVo and The Nielsen Company completed E-Marketing acquisitions in 2012, both of which focused on improving the ability to measure digital audiences.
A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2013 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
The amount of mobile data traffic generated by Smartphones, Featurephones and Tablets will exceed 90,000 Petabytes by 2017, equivalent to almost 42 quadrillion tweets or approximately 7 billion Blu-ray movies, according to a report from Juniperresearch.
However, the report finds that only 40% of the data generated by these devices will reach the cellular network by 2017, as majority of the data traffic will be via the Wi-Fi network.
Data Offloading is Key, Challenges Still Remain
The new Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Carrier-grade Strategies 2012-2017report finds that despite 2012 being a breakthrough year for 4G LTE, operators will still need offloading technologies such as WiFi & Small cells to augment 4G networks.
“The trend will continue and operators will make use of more integrated units of Wi-Fi and small cells. In the case of indoor cells, where most usage happens, you effectively have Wi-Fi as the pioneer and are in many ways the leader in this area. Small cells are indeed becoming a part of it”, added report author Nitin Bhas.
Carrier-grade Opportunity for Operators
The demand for high bandwidth services from end users and the availability of Wi-Fi on most mobile devices have enforced the operators to address consumer expectations around quality and experience while creating opportunities for the operators.
The report identifies a series of trends that are coming together to greatly accelerate carrier-Wi-Fi adoption, mainly NGH (Next Generation Hotspot) and Hotspot 2.0 specifications along with 5GHz enabled devices. Carrier-grade small cells along with Wi-Fi will enable high levels of capacity and along with the macro network will provide commercial and financial success to the operator.
Other Key Findings Include:
- Notebooks and eReaders will onload over 20% of their data traffic to the mobile networks in 2013.
- North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.
The ‘Data Offload ~ Connecting Intelligently‘ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
What do these brands have in common: Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?
They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15 in Atlanta, the region’s largest digital marketing and web innovation strategies conference.
The event draws a sell-out crowd of 1,500 or more digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta.
Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.
We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division). We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong this week. Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.
Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.