The Mobile Way of Life

It’s 8 a.m. – you’re on your way to work
10 a.m. – you’ve decided to take a coffee break
1.30 p.m. – you’re taking a little break after lunch
7 p.m. – you’re on your way back home. Maybe you’ve chosen to take the train
11 p.m. – you’re in bed

In all of the above scenarios, what is the one thing that remains common? Not surprisingly enough, it’s your mobile phone! Whether you’re on your way to work, taking a coffee break, taking a lunch break, on your way back from work, or in bed getting ready to end the day, you are incessantly checking your phone.

With our ever fast, ever on the move generation, mobile phones have found a place in lives as our constant companions. Whether you’re checking your social media, emails or even surfing the web, it’s all happening in the palm of your hand. You no longer have time for the desktop. This, my readers is the reason why companies are now focusing more on the mobile platform rather than the desktop. Hence, this outburst of apps on every app store available.

The obvious reason for this is of course is the convenience of a mobile phone. It began with surfing websites through mobile devices. However, websites had to renovate themselves in order to become mobile friendly. The next step was the development of apps for these sites allowing users to deal with a friendlier interface. Statistics too support the theory that 89% of mobile users spend more time on apps over websites (Nielsen).

Mobile marketers are trying to give customers as personalized an experience as possible. The key challenge here however is to remember that there is a fine line between personalization and intrusion. Tailor-made experiences should be derived from past shopping patterns, search history, etc. Other trends also include, but are not limited, to mobile email marketing. This proactive strategy is designed to send consumers product offers depending on their shopping behaviour rather than waiting for them to log onto the company website. For example, in the case of groceries, instead of waiting for the customer to log onto the website each month, the company sends them an email a week before the due date with product offers, depending on the items that had been selected in last month’s basket. Consider this – the lady of the house is on the move and the grocery store she shops with has a great, friendly, app that allows her, her preferred items on the go, without her having to worry about getting access to a computer and logging onto the website when she returns home at the end of the day. A win-win situation for both.

In a not so surprising turn of events, e-commerce giants like have decided to shut their website operations, depending now only on personalization through the mobile platform. They owe 80% of their sales through this platform since ‘fashion shopping is quite impulsive’. Their app has a great interface, with looks decoded by occasions, international fashion, current trends, DIYs, audio/visual help, stylist picks, celebrity styles, etc. In my opinion, what more does one need?

Taking into account personal experiences, I started off being a weary user of online shopping, but of course, the idea of having clothing and accessories delivered to your doorstep soon changed everything 😉 My personal favorite is swiping through apps on the go and filling my shopping basket with all the things I love. This includes mainly bake ware and hygiene products like heavenly smelling lotions.

On another note, it’s rather interesting how just about everyone has an ‘idea for an app’ and believes that something small can maybe go viral someday and why not? A few days ago I was having a conversation with a home baker and when I told her I worked in the IT sector, her face suddenly lit up. She wanted to know if I could develop an app for her. She pointed out that the demand for her cakes was huge and her desktop website couldn’t possibly do what a personalized app could.

Overall, with the influx of apps, the frenzy that is social media, and the convenience of the mobile phone, an increasing number of consumers are expecting companies to curate content directed intentionally towards them, making the mobile experience personal, albeit, taking care of privacy.

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