Mobile Madness Northwest: Highlights, Predictions, and Takeaways
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Imagine being faced with the choice of having all the places you went over the last two weeks made public, or all the Web sites you went to in the same period. “Which would you want, the places you went to or the actual Web sites you visited? … At the end of the day [location] is very sensitive, but comparatively it’s not that scary,” he says.
These services, says Brent Hieggelke, chief marketing officer of Urban Airship, offer the potential for revenge of the bricks-and-mortar retailers, who can now alert customers who may be carrying a loyalty card that they can get a two-for-one burrito at the Chipotle two blocks away. There are also promising scenarios once customers are in the stores—where the lion’s share of retail transactions still occur—for helping them navigate and check out faster.
—“Native mobile advertising” is coming to the fore in 2013, says John SanGiovanni, vice president of product design at Zumobi. Currently, most mobile advertising consists of “underwhelming” banner ads that don’t take advantage even of the high-quality displays of modern devices. There are also more sophisticated “rich media” ads that may be better looking or unfold to cover the full screen. The next frontier is the native mobile ad, which has deeper integration into mobile apps, interoperability with social media, and takes advantage of the features of the mobile device itself, while also maintaining the campaign-tracking functions that marketers demand. This “requires more kung fu,” SanGiovanni says, but also promises to capture a greater share of the advertising dollar. “That will be the thing that will fuel the great apps of tomorrow in the same way that brand advertising has fueled our favorite television shows since the 1960s,” he says.
—IP-enabled or “over the top” mobile services such as instant messaging are reaching parity with traditional services provided by mobile carriers. Alex Samano, general manager of Bobsled by T-Mobile, an IP-enabled free calling service, says right now carriers are handling this development poorly. “We see these two things as being competitive, which we definitely don’t believe they need to be,” he says. The IP-based services are attractive, particularly because they’re free, but can lack the quality and reliability implicit in a carrier’s access plan. Consumers will want both.
—It’s time to stop lumping mobile and tablet devices together. There was wide agreement among the panel of e-commerce pros that a blanket mobile strategy is no longer adequate. “They are very different experiences,” says Doug Aley, a vice president at Zulily, of the moms who shop the daily deals site on a phone versus those who use a tablet. The former want to get in and out quickly, while the latter group is in a “sit-back-and-consume” mode. The company is willing to be inconsistent across its platforms to optimize for these different mindsets.
—While there may be more Android devices, iPhone/iPad customers buy more—dramatically more. That’s driving retailers to … Next Page »
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