The Rise of the Cell Phone
Cell phones are everywhere and people are addicted to them. If you leave your house, it would be a weird, apocalyptic-like event to NOT see someone using their cell phone. The mobile phone has achieved a status on par with wallets and keys. Think about that panic you feel when you think you’ve lost your phone; that sinking, desperate naked feeling. It’s not good. Odds are, you’ll look at your phone at least once while reading this post. Or maybe you’re even reading this post on your cell phone.
So why is this important for you? We’ve been harping this message for some time: consumers are using their cell phones more and more while moving towards a mobile storefront. From 2012 to 2013 alone there was a 25% increase in in-store mobile usage. Of the 2 BILLION mobile devices that were shipped in 2013, that means 500,000,000, yes 500 MILLION, of them will be used in a consumer’s hands that are making businesses like yours money.
So let’s start from the beginning. The first call from a mobile phone was April 3, 1973. The call lasted 30 minutes (the battery life of the device), and the device then took 10 hours to charge. The device also weighed almost 2.5 lbs. (source: here). Fast forward thirty-five years when Apple redefined the mobile space by releasing the iPhone. The iPhone sold 1.12 Million units in its first quarter of availability and sales continued to double every year. The smartphone is quickly edging out other mobile technologies, too. More than 20% of cell phone users have switched from traditional cell phones to some smartphone over the past two years.
Now let’s examine how quickly the smartphone is changing the game for you, as a potential mobile-web-utilizing vendor.
The smartphone has changed the game in just about every sense of the word. What took the radio 38 years to do – that is, be adopted by 50 million people – took the mobile app “Draw Something” just 50 days to do. Remember the ‘dot com’ boom in the 90’s? Mobile web adoption is happening 8 times as quickly. People are spending almost 2 hours a day on their smartphones. That number, while alarming, is something you simply cannot afford to ignore. Even more pertinent: 80% of users intend on using their mobile device to purchase something in the next year, and almost 60% of users won’t recommend a business if they don’t have a well-designed mobile site. Numbers like this is like closing your store one day each week.
So as the sun is rising on this new era of mobile cosumerization, you, as a business owner or manager, need to be aware of these things. You simply cannot afford to not take action. I mean, look at the numbers. By taking calculated steps towards a mobile storefront, you will reduce the total cost of something that you WILL need sooner rather than later, you will be sure to take the right action for your business, but most importantly, you will be able to talk to and capture business in ways you never have before.
So why cell phones? Why now? Just a few days ago, Taco Bell, one of the biggest fast food chains in America, decided it would start taking orders on its mobile app. This (and what we saw at NRF), tells us that consumers are ready to take their dining experience mobile. Next stop, your restaurant.
Have you recently gone mobile? What was your experience? Sound off in the comments.