Mobile Applications Eclipse Other Time Spent Online

As of last fall, 52 percent of the time consumers spend online was via mobile applications, according to new data from comScore Inc. 40 percent of time spent online was via web browsers on desktops or laptops and 8 percent spent via web browsers on smartphones or tablets.

The statistics show that most consumers prefer the richer experiences that can be created with mobile app development.

There are several factors that contribute to the growth in mobile application usage. These include the increased usage of devices with large screens, new technologies and, most importantly, according to Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at comScore, access to faster 4G wireless data connectivity.

“Prior to 4G, browsing the web or using apps on your smartphone was slow and clunky, and consumers generally used apps only when necessary; the average consumer was not sitting on their couch or on the go heavily using mobile apps,” Andrew Lipsman says. “In the last two years, though, smartphones have become the primary platform consumers use to consume content and shop, and 4G connectivity is a big part of this movement to mobile devices and apps.”

Beyond that the apps themselves have improved. Businesses are improving their mobile applications and giving users better experiences which is helping fuel the growth. Which along with a change in behavior where we see people actively shopping or social networking while watching TV or riding a subway to work makes mobile applications incredibly important to businesses.

It is imperative that your mobile application is giving your customers the positive experiences and not turning them away.

Remarkable Growth Predicted For Mobile Transactions

Juniper Research estimates in a recent study that mobile phone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions per year by 2019. This represents a huge jump over the 72 billion mobile commerce transactions expected this year.

With smart phones saturating the mobile phone market there will be an expansion the use of the features on these devices. Juniper’s report expects to see the highest growth rates in the NFC sector, “Here, usage is expected to be buoyed by the launch of Apple Pay, together with a host of anticipated deployments by banks using solutions based on HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology.”

Juniper is expecting to see the largest increase in transaction volumes will occur in the digital goods sector, where they foresee a “surge in micropayments for in-app purchases, notably within arenas such as social gaming.”

As businesses improve user experiences for mobile applications during the mobile application development process, customers will be more comfortable making purchases and not only volumes of transactions will increase but also amounts. But beyond the applications them selves there are a number of factors that will drive growth. Industry innovations will also push the growth of mobile transactions as Walgreens mentioned its mobile wallet payments doubled after Apple Pay came out. Additionally once we see facilities for NFC payments in quick-shopping locations, such as at gas pumps, the growth will skyrocket.

Mobile the Choice for Millennials

The old method of packing retail locations into malls to attract business has certainly lost its charm to consumers and nowhere more-so than with the prime millennial demographic, according to JLL Research.

With millennials accounting for such a prime slice of of the retail demographic, they cannot simply be ignored. According to the report. “they’re on track to spend $1.4 trillion annually by 2020, accounting for roughly 30 percent of all retail sales.”

What can retailers do to attract the millennial demographic?

The study from JLL Research suggests some strategies for appealing to millennials:

1.  Meet millennials via mobile and online  –  Millennials are technologically oriented and connect with the world through mobile devices. Mobile applications and mobile web sites are essential to connecting with millenials.

2. Offer coupons and sales –  Millennials like a good deal. While they collectively wield great spending power, individually many are unemployed or underemployed. Coupons and targeted promotions work well and research shows that 38% of millennials are influenced by savings-related signs and in-store displays (compared with 28% of all shoppers).

3. Have a physical location – Millennials prefer to buy in stores. JLL Research shows that millennials will seek out good deals online but gravitate to gathering places and experiences that retail properties can offer when it comes time to buy. This gives millennials an opportunity to touch the products prior to purchase as well. Millennials like to touch and try out product

By developing you marketing plans around the way millennials connect with the world, your business can benefit.

“Millenials have strong skills with mobile devices and are apt to use those skills when shopping,” according to Kimber Johnson, Managing Director Vanity Point, he continues, “they are quick to search product reviews and look for the best prices. Retailers that give them the tools they are looking for on their mobile applications and web sites are at a definite advantage when it comes to marketing to millennials.”