I have been at Internet World 2012 in London last week and there was a lot of talk about mobile and social. The term SoLoMo has been around for some time now.
However, with more focus on mobile and the fact that social is not the only popular activity through mobile .. I think we need to reorder the term to MoLoSo ?!! Check the stats and share your thoughts…..
A lot of research today is focused on how consumers communicate socially through mobile devices mainly smart phones and tablets. Figures from various sources show that more than 53% of TV viewers in the UK multi-screen while watching television (IAB.org). This basically means that users tend to check and use their mobile devices (71%), tablets, or laptops while watching a program on television. A research made by the famous newspaper, the Guardian, showed that the more loyal the users the more likely they will seek to download and use a mobile App from their favorite brand. However, if companies seek to increase engagement levels with consumers on various products or services; mobile sites as an equivalent to web sites prove to be more efficient. Statistics from theGuardian show a staggering 66% engagement level from all users on mobile sites in comparison to 45% usage among loyal customers. In spite of that, sources from Google show that only 23% of web sites are optimized for mobile which means that the 71% of consumers who are more into mobile are more likely to get a website that does not work on their device and as such would abandon the entire transaction all together. Statistics about search patterns at Google for Xmas gifts in 2011 show an 11% increase in mobile purchases and a 23% increase in those who bought Tablets. These numbers can only go up with eBay announcing an 8 billion dollar worth of sales through mobile devices in the last 6 months. Another research by Uniliever stated that 30% of consumers declared that they would move their business else where if they were not satisfied with the mobile site experience, which is equivalent to retailers closing their shops on Saturdays, for example.
On the topic of local, sources from Google state that 40% of the search done on a mobile device has to do with users trying to find something within their surroundings. This can range from finding retail shops to looking for entertainment like a close by theater or a restaurant. Many users tend to switch on the location services on their mobile devices when they are communicating on social networks. This means “Checking In” is more of a trend and present a golden opportunities for local retailers who utilize this technology to target users on various locations.
The great aspect of local services is that most companies need to pay next to nothing to get their offices properly listed on Google maps, bing, and yahoo. They can also get listed in local directories that are eager to build their databases. Such placements are the input that feeds into all those mobile devices when users use the location functionality on their gadgets to find local businesses and services.
Talking social !! Another research from Google says that 57% of the people in the UK talk more Online than face to face. A number that might seem too high but is easily justified knowing how digital communication has dominated all other types. Furthermore, a trend that has been triggered by the digital age is sharing and social networking made it more appealing as statistics show that 80% of the sharing done through social networks is mainly triggered by 20% of the users of social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This is commonly known as the 80/20 rule and has been proven applicable among many aspects in various industries and in the digital marketing world in particular. Sharing naturally falls back to human nature and the fact that some people like to share and advocacy is their second nature. A similar research into this idea, done by a digital agency in the UK among 1500 users, revealed that 43% of users in the UK share in comparison to 31% from the United States. Furthermore, long usage of sites like Facebook reduces the tendency to share as the novelty of the social network wears off. Sharing patterns range from 30% sharing of news about traveling to 27% sharing of information about contribution made to charities, and the highest goes to 62% sharing of new idea’s. Such types of sharing is directly related to self-actualization and the need to establish social dominance as stated in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Although this might seem like there is an alternative motive behind every sharing done on social networks, we can not deny that advocates and many other users share for the purpose of informing and genuinely interacting with others Online.
Another type of sharing that has grown rapidly is sharing based on interest. A recent report from emarketer.com revealed that pininterest.com is the 3rd most popular social network in the US and it adapts a completely different pattern to Facebook. PinInterest groups users based on their common area’s of interests, thus the name, and integrates as well with Facebook to support organize friends into those groups.
In summary, the world of mobile, local, and social is all integrated and the stats about one can not actually ignore the other, so what will retailers do will they be among the 23% who harness the benefits or the 77% who are failing behind….?