With roughly 125 million smartphones in the U.S., mobile has become a dominant screen in the life of most people. Tablets also serve a critical role in the ecosystem as a device for laid-back consumption, research and purchases. In fact, they're becoming ubiquitous, as it's estimated that soon there will be a tablet in every household.
To gauge the current landscape, the team at AOL has been looking closely at where and when consumers are spending time on their mobile devices. Data shows that mobile is the dominant content "snacking" device during the day. In some cases, it's the dominant consumption device, period. During weekends, smartphones and tablets share the stage, with tablets beginning to dominate overall home usage.
These emerging trends create interesting attribution challenges for retailers, as well as challenges in closing the loop in terms of retailers’ return on investment. There are three key areas retailers should address to take advantage of these new trends and stand out among the crowd:
1. Branding. Whether it's a smartphone or tablet, most time spent on mobile devices is in the form of content snacking. As consumers frequently immerse themselves online through mobile devices, new opportunities exist for brands to connect with them. The devices’ small but personal screens lend themselves beautifully to quality user experiences — including advertising — bringing consumers closer to brands now than ever before.
When ads offer exceptional experiences, users are willing to treat them like content. Research shows that mobile ads consistently have clickthrough rates three times to four times higher than desktop ads — and even higher for consumer product goods brands and retailers. Use this trend to your advantage by placing ads in front of the more interested eye that has plenty of time for snacking.
2. Local discovery. Retailers are currently tracking in-store buying and search, but local discovery and display should be top of mind to get consumers in-store. Retailers must create the mental bridge of a "deal" and where to "find" it. While most consumers don't make the connection between goods and location, mobile and tablet devices fill the void. By their very nature, mobile devices are location-aware at all times. Mobile utilities such as navigation, movie finders and email are proving to be excellent bridges. Mobile devices are the ideal ammunition to target consumers by offering brands access to a higher intender set, snacking behaviors, higher clickthrough rates and on-the-go usage.