Everyone knows that consumers are increasingly making their mobile device the tool they depend upon to research, shop, buy, ask for help and renew their purchases (including paying their bills). As a result, companies are responding by:
- Designing and delivering a greater number of their marketing campaigns for mobile devices.
- Selling more products and services to consumers who make the purchase through their mobile device (or at least place the order, and then pay through traditional means such as mailing checks or using credit cards).
- Conducting more call center transactions with consumers who are using mobile devices.
Numerous companies such as Swedish automaker Volvo have launched extensive advertising campaigns geared for mobile devices. The company created a mobile app that simulated the driving experience through a 30-second video, which increased website traffic nearly 300% and purchase intent by 88%.9
But how much business are companies really conducting with consumers who use mobile devices to interact with those businesses? To get a handle on that, we asked survey respondents to estimate the percentage of transactions they conduct today with consumers who are using mobile devices – and in three areas (see Exhibit II-5):
- The number of purchase transactions (not revenue) out of total purchase transactions.
- The number of marketing campaigns designed exclusively for mobile devices (out of all marketing campaigns – advertising, event marketing, PR, etc.).
- The number of customer service interactions out of all service interactions that consumers (using mobile devices) conduct with those companies (through text messages, smartphone calls, social media inquiries made through mobile devices, etc.).
Which region finished on top? Asia-Pacific companies were in the lead, with about 50% of such sales, marketing and service transactions conducted by consumers who are using mobile devices. Next were Latin American companies (in the low 40%), followed by European organizations (with 30% of total sales transactions, 28% of marketing transactions and 25% of service transactions done through consumers’ mobile devices).
North American companies reported the lowest percentage of sales, marketing and service transactions being conducted with consumers who use mobile devices. Consumer purchases through mobile devices constituted an average 24% of total sales transactions. Some 21% of marketing campaigns were designed for mobile consumers. And the companies said they were conducting an average 19% of post-sale service transactions with consumers who used mobile devices.
Exhibit II-5: Q11-13/Global: Percent of Consumer Interactions
Made Through Mobile Devices (2012)
We also asked our survey respondents to project their percentages in the three categories for the year 2015 – three years from now. (See Exhibit II-6.) Of course, these percentages must be considered for what they are – educated guesses, even if extrapolated from trends to date. Still, they strongly suggest that companies in all four regions of the world believe they will be conducting only more business with consumers through their mobile devices. They predict their percentage of sales, marketing and service transactions will continue to rise at a strong clip.
Of the four regions, Asia-Pacific companies predicted the smallest increase in mobile transactions as a percent of total in three years. But that increase would be on top of an already large base today. North American and Latin American companies predicted the largest gains, and Europe slightly smaller ones.
Exhibit II-6: Q11a-13a/Global: Percent of Consumer Interactions
Projected to be Made Through Mobile Devices by 2015
These projections suggest that companies in all four regions see an inescapable trend – of consumers electing to deal with them while they are “out and about” using a smartphone, tablet device, feature phone (or whatever becomes the next popular category of digital mobile devices). Perhaps a bigger question is this: Will these companies be prepared to do business with such consumers?
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9 From a Google web page for its AdMob service. AdMob is a platform for mobile advertising.
Findings: All Regions