December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
A hospital or doctor’s office seems like one of the least likely places to find use for a mobile app, but according to Trend Watching’s 10 Trends for 2013, “appscriptions” are the future for the healthcare and technological industries alike. Health care professionals are turning to mobile apps to help patients get and stay healthy, which is easier considering that there are more than 13,000 health related apps available in Apple’s app store alone. With this deluge of choices, Trend Watching suggests that in the coming year, consumers will turn to doctors to find the safest and best apps available.
The benefit is mutual. While consumers have convenient access to a wide variety of medical resources and information, the healthcare industry may see resultant reduced costs as patients live healthier lifestyles. Mobile apps have recently been popular for assisting with weight loss efforts, with apps that count calories, offer exercise routines, and track progress. But health apps are not limited to dietary relevance; this summer, Antibitoics Reminder hit the market at no cost, offering patients a convenient way to track their medication consumption.
According to Time magazine, the following health apps cap off as the “best of” various categories:
- Exercise: RunKeeper (tracks distance, time, and pace)
- Diet: Fooducate (offers nutritional information)
- Sleep: Sleep Cycle (helps improve sleep patterns)
- Weight Loss: Lose It! (monitors calorie intake and use)
- Health Care: ZocDoc (makes finding a great Doctor easy)
While mobile apps are clearly important in the health field, it is important to recognize the recent more general mobile app trend, in which consumers demand convenience and information at the tips of their fingers. If your brand is looking for a way to stay current and edge out the competition, ask yourself how a mobile app can bring your brand experience to the palm of your consumer’s hand. But consumers are discriminating and your app must
provide a real service they need. Smartphone users now have an average number of 41 apps — a rise of 28 percent on the 32 apps owned on average last year. Despite the rise in app numbers, the amount of time that people are spending in apps has remained essentially flat; they are being used for 39 minutes per day today, compared to 37 minutes in 2011.
September 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
It finally happened. My husband is coming to the light. He is getting a new iPhone.
And it seems that he is not alone. While Android phones surged ahead last year, new research shows that iPads and the new iPhones are preferred for the end of the year.
Research from Yankee Group: “A smaller percentage of consumers—only 39 percent of respondents who intend to buy a smartphone in the next six months—plan to buy one that runs Android, indicating that Android interest is flagging. Compare that with the 42 percent of consumers who plan to buy an iPhone in the next six months, and our landscapes suggest that Apple will see another record-setting launch this fall.”
In my humble opinion, there are many reasons that iPhones win. The integration with all Mac devices, the camera, Facetime, and iTunes are just a few. Since everyone else in the family has an iPhone, my husband is realizing how simple it is to be connected with his laptop and his family. Research from Techbargains.com says one in five users who identified as Android users plan on replacing their current handset with Apple’s next iPhone. The survey group of 1,300 indicated that most smartphone customers are seeking longer battery life, a faster phone, and 4G LTE wireless connectivity.
The new introduction of the sixth-generation iPhone is high anticipated. It’s the American way. Competition is good. And when it comes to tablets, here’s an interesting tidbit – for every Android tablet in use today, there are 6.6 iPads. eMarketer predicts the number of iPad users in the US will rise by over 90% this year to 53.2 million, as loyal users replace older models and new consumers purchase the device. eMarketer estimates more than half of tablet users this year to be men (54%), but by the end of the forecast period the gender split is expected to be even.
September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Showrooming” is all the talk among retailers as the holiday shopping season approaches. Showrooming is the practice of shopping in a physical store and then buying online. It has become a concern for retailers because of the proliferation of mobile devices that allow comparison shopping to be as near as your smartphone. A fact for those marketing to women: some 45.9% of online shoppers have engaged in showrooming.
Recent research by Exact Target says that 44% of customers use mobile to shop in-store, and a similar number (45%) said they would leave the store to buy online when the online price was 2.5% lower. At 5% lower, 60% said they would leave.
But retailers with mobile sites and apps should take heart. New research from Foresee surveyed more than 4,000 customers who had visited the top 20 retailers’ mobile site or used their app within a two-week period. Research showed that 59% of the mobile devices were being used from home and 16% while preparing to visit a store. Those most likely to use mobile sites or apps are those more familiar with the brand. So brand is still important no matter where the shopping is taking place.
What can a retailer do to prepare for this retail season?
1. Remember that your brand is still important. Many things make up a brand. A differentiated shopping experience is a draw to consumers. Unique product selection, smaller stores, unrivaled customer service, personal shopping, pick-up service, in-store demonstrations/classes and personalization can be important components of your brand. Target pushes its suppliers to offer exclusive products that can’t be found elsewhere. It also has quadrupled the number of items available online and is sending special coupons directly to customers’ mobile phones.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is emphasizing in-store pickups for online orders—many available the same day they are purchased—allowing customers to avoid shipping fees. Lululemon offers a unique lifestyle brand.
2. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. Do you have a website optimized for mobile? Do you have a full selection of your products and services online? If comparison shopping is going on, you must have a full complement of products for that comparison. Email and text messaging are strong methods of communication. Big box retailers like Target, Walmart and Home Depot are developing indoor navigation tools for shopping. Walgreen’s customers can make a shopping list and the items will be spotted in a store map.
3. Pricing and Value. Okay, so you know that the real competition is online. Is it all about pricing? Well, if your goods are not unique, curated to your shopper and part of a branded look and feel, then yes, it is all price. Online sales still represent only about 8% of total retail sales in the U.S.—but that is up from just 2% in 2000. Amazon ranked as the 13th largest retailer in the U.S., up from 19th one year ago. By the end of this year, retail analysts expect Amazon to rank 10th, replacing Best Buy on the top ten list. And Amazon prices are 9-14% lower than most retailers.
August 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have been writing for some time about how smartphones are a Moms best friend. And of course, my phone of choice is the iPhone. Oh, and the iPad for Facetime and Skype. And of course, my MacBook Pro for Facetime. I have long believed that these are the tools of choice for Moms and recent new research reinforces this maternal love of Apples!
So here’s how the Apple rolls – as expressed by Arbitron and Edison Research Moms and Media 2012 Research:
• 92% of Moms own a cell phone
• 61% of Moms own a smartphone. The number of Moms with smartphones doubled from 2011 to 2012. In 2009, only 8% of Moms had a smartphone. By the way, the iPhone celebrated its fifth birthday this year.
• 51% of Moms own an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod
• 25% of Moms own iPhones, and 32% of Moms own those Android phones. Yes, Android did have a growth spurt as they modeled their phones after iPhone functionality.
• iPhone users exhibit more loyalty than non-iPhone users. When asked which they couldn’t live without – the iPhone or television – 70% chose their iPhone!
• Yes, we sleep, eat and go to the bathroom with our iPhones. 93% say their smartphone is always nearby.
What does Apple love have to do with marketing? Well, I am glad you asked. Moms know a thing or two about purchasing. They have a buying power of $2.4 trillion in 2011. And mobile devices are part of their purchasing behavior. A new report from Mojiva shows that 97% of tablet-owning Moms made a purchase using their tablet in the past month. I know, I was one of them. I purchased plane tickets, shoes and books. When you look at all connected moms, you find that 62% use a shopping app and 46% want to receive information while in a store.
Can you imagine how many more Moms will jump at the chance to have the new iPad mini and iPhone 5 coming out this Fall? It will be a GREEN Christmas for Apple.