Friday, May 29, 2015

The New Mobile Shopper - Latest Research

I am deep into researching mobile consumer behaviors at this time, and am amazed at the impact that mobile technologies are having on us - especially millennials.

Here are some examples from my research:

  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online, shop online far more frequently than those using only desktop/laptops.  In fact, mobile shoppers purchase online once or more a week at a rate 82% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers.
  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online, conduct research late at night, at a rate 46.1% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers.
  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online, check store inventories late at night at a rate 66.7% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers. 
  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online selected "ease of navigating the website or mobile app" as a top factor that influenced their decision to purchase online from a particular retailer/website at a rate 42.2% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers. 
  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online selected "the ability to buy/reserve online and pick-up in store" as a top factor that influenced their decision to purchase online from a particular retailer/website at a rate 53.4% greater than desktop/laptop online shoppers.
  • People that use mobile devices to purchase products and services online, report they have shopped for an item in a store, but purchased it online from a different retailer, at a rate 22% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers.

  • This data came from Cognizant's 2015 Shoppers survey of 5,000 people.  It shows that people accustomed to using mobile devices to shop online for products and services represent a category of shopper that behaves very differently than traditional desktop/laptop online shoppers.  Retailers and etailers that don't account for these differences with customized/personalized digital experiences will lose to competitors that do.
    I will be finishing this research and publishing a major study on this data in the next few months.

    ************************************************************************
    Kevin Benedict
    Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
    Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
    View my profile on LinkedIn
    Read more at Future of Work
    Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
    Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
    Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
    Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
    Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

    ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Mobile Consumer Behaviors - The Seven Essential Questions

    Digital Transformation is the process of updating your business and IT infrastructure to align with today's and tomorrow's consumers.  Today that is important, but hard to do.  Mobile consumer behaviors are changing far faster than most IT budgets and initiatives and that can cause problems.  If your customers are adopting technologies and changing their path-to-purchase journeys at a pace that is faster than you can deliver, then you are opening up an opportunity gap for a more nimble competitor.

    Do your internal sales and executive strategy sessions begin with these questions:
    1. Where are our customers to be found?  
    2. What technologies are our customers using?  
    3. How are our customers' path-to-purchase journeys' changing?  
    4. Are we meeting our customers along their path-to-purchase journeys and supporting them?
    5. Are we digitally transforming at a pace that will keep us aligned with our customers' pace of change?  
    6. Is our IT budget aligned with the required pace of change?  
    7. Are we re-engineering business processes to align with required digital transformations and mobile consumer behaviors?
    According to comScore's quarterly State Of Retail report, in the first quarter of 2014, 78 percent of the U.S. population age 15 and above bought something online.  That percentage is expected to continue to grow.  In addition, BusinessInsider.com reports the key age group of 18-34 year olds spend nearly $2,000 per year online now. In addition, in a recent Experian survey 55 percent of e-commerce shoppers in the U.S. live in households with incomes above $75,000 (40 percent were in households earning $100,000 and above). We are into serious numbers worthy of our attention.

    The point has been made.  We all recognize there is a lot of money to be made catering to online shoppers.  The problem is - just when many companies thought they had their e-commerce capabilities and strategies under control, consumer behaviors change.  How?  They jumped to mobile devices in the form of smartphones and tablets for much of the path-to-purchase journey.  In fact, in our analysis over three-quarters of path-to-purchase journeys are already completed before vendors are contacted, and much of it was completed using mobile devices.   If a retailer waits to be contacted before attempting to influence, they have missed the boat.  If marketing campaigns are desktop/laptop centric, they have missed key opportunities and demographics to influence.  If customers don't contact vendors until late in the path-to-purchase journey, then how can retailers effectively influence buying decisions?  They need to understand consumer behaviors in general, and mobile consumer behaviors in particular.

    In a recent survey I conducted of 108 business and IT professionals, all purchased products and services online.  Of those, eighty-nine percent purchase products and services online using mobile devices (smartphones and/or tablets).  However, when asked what means they typically use for online purchases, thirty-nine percent answered desktops/tablets, twelve percent mobile devices, and forty-eight percent answered both desktop/laptop and mobile devices regularly.  This data highlights the fact that many mobile consumers still wait to purchase products online using desktops/laptops even if they researched the products on smartphones and tablets.  The use of multiple devices and computers in the path-to-purchase process highlights the need to support customers across all channels to ensure they have a beautiful and consistent customer experience.   This is not easy as there are a lot of moving parts and technologies involved.

    To add to the complexity retailers face, different parts of the path-to-purchase journey are favored on different devices.  Yikes!  On-the-go searches and quick information discoveries are favored for smartphones.  Just search for a product or service and save the link.  In-depth research and rich product comparisons are often done on tablets with bigger screens.  For online purchases, consumers still overwhelmingly use desktops/laptops as they are assumed to be more secure.  Understood?  Don't, however, forget that many consumers still only use desktop/laptops and their behavior is different.  In fact, Cognizant just completed its 2015 Shoppers Survey of 5,000 people and forty-three percent typically only use computers for online shopping activities.

    How often do people use mobile devices to make online purchases?  From my recent survey (108 business and IT professionals):
    • Daily 1.8%
    • Weekly 28.7%
    • Monthly 43.5%
    • Quarterly 19.4%
    • Yearly 5.5%
    What time of day do consumers shop using mobile devices?  Here are the top three times from my recent survey ranked in order:
    1. Early morning
    2. Mid morning
    3. Early afternoon
    Seems simple. Focus from 6 AM to 2 PM in each time zone, right?  Wrong!  When you look at different mobile consumer behaviors by age, there are considerable differences.  That means if you are selling to an older age group, they have very different online and mobile consumer behaviors than 18-24 year olds. The younger age groups spike upward in online shopping late at night, after all of us old people are asleep in bed.  Besides, desktop users find shopping in bed quite painful after a few minutes.

    What location are mobile consumers at when they shop online?  That depends on what stage in the path-to-purchase they are in.  Here are the most popular locations for mobile consumer shopping from my recent survey ranked in order of popularity:
    1. Home - living room
    2. Work - desk
    3. Home - bedroom
    4. Home - TV room
    5. Coffee Shop/Restaurant
    6. Commuting - automobile/taxi/train/airplane/subway
    If this mix is not rich enough, let's add gender differences!  In a November 2014 study conducted by Burst Media and Rhythm NewMedia titled Online Insights - Mobile Shopping Behaviors, it was found that among respondents who use mobile device(s) inside a physical retail location to help with the shopping experience, 58.3 percent were women and 47.7 percent were men.  That difference is meaningful.

    I will stop here for today.  I am writing a lengthy report now on all the details of these studies.  If you would like to review these findings in detail and arrange a briefing, please contact me.  The bottom line is that consumers' path-to-purchase has been significantly impacted by mobile devices and if retailers and etailers are not in step with these changes, they will lose to competitors that are.

    ************************************************************************
    Kevin Benedict
    Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
    Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
    View my profile on LinkedIn
    Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
    Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
    Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
    Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
    Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

    ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    Interview: Robots, Digital Transformation and Intelligent Process Automation

    Robots bring to our minds images of dangerous humanoids, but business process robots look different and behave in very positive ways.  In this important conversation with three robot and automation experts, they reveal the presence of robots all around us, and their expanding roles in companies today.  Enjoy!

    Read the report - The Robot and I: How New Digital Technologies Are Making Smart People and Businesses Smarter. ************************************************************************
    Kevin Benedict
    Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
    Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
    View my profile on LinkedIn
    Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
    Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
    Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
    Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
    Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

    ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Intelligent Mobile Commerce Apps, Digital Transformation, Robots and Speed

    Brains behind Mobile Applications
    In 2002, I was developing mobile applications for blue collar workers. These apps were not intelligent.  They were basically forms on handheld computers or PDAs.  Yes, they could be made to understand, based on data inputs, which form(s) should be presented next, but that was about as smart as they got.  In those days, mobile apps were mostly used to query a simple database and for field data collection and sync.

    Today, mobile apps on smartphones and tablets are the UXs (user interfaces) for very complex and intelligent systems, many of which today depend on software robots for automation and speed.  On a side note, yesterday, while I was attending a M6 Mobility Xchange conference, Intel said us humans are becoming part of the computer!

    Mobile users are impatient.  They will wait less than 4 seconds on average for a mobile app to load, before closing it and moving on. You would hate to have developed the world's best designed mobile application, but then have mobile consumers abandon it, because some transaction engine, integrated product catalog or mobile security system made the process too slow.

    Let me provide a scenario - a person uses a retailer's mobile application that is associated with a loyalty program.  The millisecond they load the application, software robots on the backend identify the device, look at all the accumulated data about the user's transaction histories, demographics, preferences, styles, etc., analyzes it, and then create a personalized experience which is uploaded to the mobile application.  No human is involved, but the experience is fast, beautiful and personal.  The products and discounts are optimized to appeal to my preferences.  It is an automated process that uses software robots to analyze and act in milliseconds.  This process is far more sophisticated and complex than the processes I used in 2002.

    In 2002, to speed up a process we looked at just a few areas: the selected mobile device, wireless networks, device memory and the size of the database queries.  Today, entire business processes are being impacted and companies are being forced to rethink operations.  Legacy IT systems are being asked to perform at speeds beyond their capabilities.  Mobile solutions today, are more about the backend servers, processes, robots and strategies, than the actual mobile app.

    The pressure to digitally transform and automate IT environments is growing.  Mobile applications, at first just clever add-ons to line of business applications, are now driving the train of digital transformation and pointing the way to the future for the entire enterprise.  The cost of a mobile application, may ultimately involve rethinking your entire IT environment.

    As consumers increasingly shop online and mobile, competition will force businesses to redesign not only their IT environments, but their entire approach to marketing, sales, customer service and R&D as well.

    Finally a big favor to ask - Will you take my 3-minute survey on mobile behaviors?  It is part of an in-depth mobile consumer behaviors and the retail experience report I am working on.

    Survey - http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eb005ar4i9lm8rvk/start
    ************************************************************************
    Kevin Benedict
    Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
    Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
    View my profile on LinkedIn
    Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
    Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
    Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
    Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
    Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

    ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2015

    The Latest Trends in Mobile Commerce that You Can't Miss

    In a recent survey, conducted by Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work and Cognizant's retail practice, we found that of 5,000 people who make online purchases at least a few times each year, 68.1% (3,918) make online purchases at least once a month.  Out of this group, here are the age breakdowns:
    • 71.6% of 18-24 year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 77.3% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    • 79.8% of 25-34 year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 82.2% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    • 74.1% of 35-44 year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 79.9% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    • 69.7% of 45-54 year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 75.7% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    • 61.6% of 55-64 year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 68.2% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    • 55.2% of 65+ year olds make online purchases at least once a month, and 61.8% of these report using mobile devices at least as much as desktop/laptops for online purchases.
    These are interesting numbers, but not necessarily unexpected.  The biggest discoveries in the data are found in the behavioral differences of mobile consumers.  E-Commerce or website based online commerce has been around for over 15 years, and most retail companies have been interacting with their markets via websites long enough to have a solid understanding of online behaviors, but mobile commerce is still new and dynamic enough that uncertainties remain.

    Here are a few interesting findings I discovered while researching for my latest report on Mobile Consumer Behaviors and the Retail Experience.
    • 24% of 5,000 survey participants, report they research and/or compare prices using a mobile device while shopping in-store most of the time to every time - 44% rarely to never do.
    • Survey participants that use mobile devices at least equal to desktops/laptops, shop online once or more a week at a rate 82% higher than desktop/laptop users.
    • Mobile shoppers conduct research late at night at a rate 46.1% higher than desktop/laptop online shoppers.  That makes sense, desktops are kind of heavy to take with you to bed.
    After my first couple of passes through this new data, it is obvious there are significant behavioral differences between mobile shoppers, desktop/laptop shoppers and offline shoppers.  These behavioral differences, given the rapid growth of mobile commerce, must be understood and integrated into sales and marketing systems and strategies in order to maximize success.

    If your company is involved in retail and mobile commerce and would like to meet and review all of my latest findings, please contact me here.

    ************************************************************************
    Kevin Benedict
    Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
    Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
    View my profile on LinkedIn
    Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
    Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
    Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
    Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
    Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

    ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.