Highlights from Nielsen’s Mobile Consumer Report

(Source: by Nick Mulligan in News on 19 March 2013)

Nielsen’s Mobile Consumer Report

Nielsen have just released their Mobile Consumer Report. It’s got some interesting findings, so we thought we’d give you a summary.

The current landscape
Mobile phone ownership in both developed and high-growth countries has reached a critical mass, with no growth from the first half of 2012. The high rates of ownership are shown in the below graph:

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Nevertheless, the kinds of phone we own are changing. Smartphone ownership is highest in South Korea, China, Australia and the UK, whilst those in Turkey and Brazil were most likely to own a multimedia phone. Feature phones are most popular in India, owned by 80% of all those with a device.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 19.14.04

Some countries have a higher prevalence of multiple-device ownership, too, as highlighted by the coloured segments in these pie charts:

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 19.15.28

The report also contains interesting information on where and why we purchase our devices. 49% of Russian mobile users purchased their device at a major electronics or media store, whilst 39% of those in the UK purchased online. Factors vary by location: value for money is most important in the US, UK, Italy and China, as opposed to Russians who care about ‘stylish design’ or Chinese consumers, who want a large choice of apps.

Behaviours: shopping, social & video
Worldwide, text messaging is by far the most popular use of a mobile device. E-mail, instant messaging, social networking and the general use of apps are big too; the latter two showing high penetration in almost all markets other than India. Within the use of applications, social networking is strongest in the US, where 85% of smartphone owners are regular users, followed by 67% in Brazil and 60% in China. 58% of UK smartphone owners regularly make use of social apps.

Smartphones have the biggest impact on shopping for US users, who are most likely to use their devices for in-store price comparison, online coupons and purchasing products.

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Another big use of smartphones is in watching mobile video, the frequency of which is shown below. This is most prevalent in emerging markets, especially China, and less so in the developed world, with the exception of the US.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 19.31.36

In most countries, video is most often accessed via mobile web, but South Korean and UK users prefer to use a mobile app. In the US, both mobile web and applications are hugely popular: 72% of smartphone owners watch mobile video through these. Downloading clips is the least popular method in most countries, other than in India, where it outranks applications and Russia, where the two are level.

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Mobile advertising
As smartphone usage grows, it is unsurprising that mobile advertising increases with it. In every country other than India, more than 50% of smartphone users who receive mobile ads did so at least once a day.

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The effectiveness of these ads varies by country, too. In developed countries, people are less likely to click on adverts, whilst fast-developing countries see greater success. Interestingly, whilst it was shown above that Indian smartphone owners are least likely to receive ads, they are more likely to submit personal details once an ad is seen.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 19.49.16

To conclude…
So, there’s a whole host of information about the differing nature of mobile ownership around the world. We’re seeing smartphones take over the developed world, with developing economies following not too far behind. All across the world, we’re using our phones for more and more exciting activities: apps, social networking, m-commerce. When it comes to mobile advertising, we’ve seen an increase in volume, which may well be responsible for a dip in effectiveness.

There’s plenty more in the report, too. For even more information, as well as details of the research methodology in different countries, make sure to have a look at the whole thing.

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Intuit’s New Mobile Payments Directions In NFC, Passbook And Facebook Revealed In 20+ New Products

Source: INGRID LUNDEN, Tech Crunch, January 29th, 2013

Yesterday Intuit took a step into social commerce with the acquisition of the team, technology and patents ofsocial payments startup Payvment. Today, it’s revealing more about how it plans to expand its services into new areas to complement its bread-and-butter business of payrolls and accounting software, with over 20 new products. They include those in payments technologies using NFC and Apple’s Passbook, consumer-focused big data apps, and new products for its Mint financial-management range.

A handful are getting launched this year and some tomorrow, while the rest are still in the experimental phase, Mint says.

Although today’s event is happening one day after the Payvment acquisition, Intuit tells me that’s more coincidence than intentional, but taken together they point to how the company is trying to be more aggressive and innovative about how it plans to develop its product lines going forward.

The various products were unveiled at an innovations showcase at Intuit’s HQ in Mountain View. Here is a rundown of some of the more interesting among them, with some comments from CEO Brad Smith on the wider trends that they speak to:

Facebook marketing (experiment). This is one area where Intuit may expand on Payvment’s technology in  social commerce and advertising, the two services that Payvment already offered to businesses. Here the idea will be to use Intuit’s mobile and online commerce platform, GoPayment, to push out discounts to customers via Facebook after they make a payment, facilitating repeat purchases.

Brad Smith, Intuit’s CEO, confirmed that Payvment’s technology will be going here, but also into other areas in Intuit’s portfolio. “We were most excited about exploring the opportunities,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We wanted to get the team on board; it was an acqui-hire in that sense. Facebook marketing is one of several areas they will work on but what I like is how they can bring the social aspect into other areas.”

Optical Card Scanning (launching on Wednesday). This is a new extension for GoPayment, where users will now be able to use a smartphone or a tablet’s camera to scan cards for payment, rather than use the swiper. This is similar to the service provided by PayPal’s Card.io.

I asked Smith whether he thought the mobile payments space would inevitably consolidate, given how many players are built on the Square model of dongles-and-mobile-devices. “Mobile payments right now is not a zero sum game,” he said, noting that 55 percent of businesses in the U.S. still don’t accept credit cards. “We are going to have tons of category growth, but it will come down to who has the best overall value proposition. Payments have to work with banks, accounting packages, and so on. We have all that. That’s why I feel good about our package. We have an ecosystem that supports payment. Consolidation will come down to a handful of people, but it will be about people who have the ecosystem and scale.”

Passbook Discounts (experiment). This will be Intuit’s first foray into Apple’s Passbook loyalty and coupon/ticket aggregating service. Similar to its Facebook marketing experiment, Intuit will use Passbook to push discounts to would-be customers; here the idea is to make the service location-based and send them out when they are near a particular store via geo-fencing technology.

NFC (experiment). Yes, Intuit is looking to take the NFC plunge, but it is still in the process of figuring out if the technology is something that its customers would actually prefer to use instead of cards. “I can’t say it’s inevitable but it’s one potential scenario,” said Smith. “Whether we’re looking at NFC or the dongle, we’re casting all those scenarios. We need to have a bet in all of them but then let the market decide who will win. It’s the power of customer data. Not opinion.”

QuickBooks Online (launching). This is one of several products where Intuit is looking to add more social services. Here, the company is expanding its invoice service QuickBooks to 40 markets, and in the localizing effort, it’s adding a wiki-style, crowdsourced element to let locals contribute new data to help others in their regions. Generation Demandforce, Intuit’s automated marketing tool, now will give its users access to an online community to “connect and share unique insights with thousands of other business marketers.”

“Social is huge for us,” said Smith. “We are looking at trends and how they will shift in the next 10 years and how companies will operate. And what we’ve found is that we no longer want to be consumers. We want to be participants: we choose what we want so we have to make our products configurable from actions to interactions. When you have 60 million customers who can share their wisdom, it can help power people as individuals.”

Data Connections (experiment). The idea here is to develop a big data-based service for small businesses and individuals. Using anonymized data from across Intuit’s 60 million existing customers, individuals will be able to get insights into how particular businesses or business segments are performing.

“We see data as one of two things,” Smith told me. “The first is that it helps you do more things and the second is that it delivers new insights to help you improve your life, using data to get a better return on investment. Very few people have the data we have: We process 40 percent of the U.S.’s tax returns; we pay 1 in 12 Amercians, and we’re the fifth-largest bank in the nation based on bank data. So with users’ permission we can produce a lot of interesting insights.”

The full list of products covered today by Intuit:
QuickBooks Online Global
TurboTax CPA Select
Mint Home and Business
Purchase Rewards
GoPatient (a mobile companion app for doctors’ patient portals that lets patients refill subscriptions, see lab results, make appointments and pay their bills)
Data Connections
Tablet Banking (this is taking a current iPad app to Android)
Intuit Payment Network
Intuit Partner Platform
QBO Cloud Ecosystem
QuickBooks Financing
Snap Payroll
Health Debit Card
Live Customer Community
SnapTax Expanded Capabilities
TurboTax CPA
TurboTax for iPad
TurboTax Military Edition
TurboTax Refund Tracker




Making a Buck in Mobile Gaming

Everybody knows Zynga, They have strong awareness with such games as”Farmville” and “Words with Friends”. But these games are primarily built (and monetized) on Facebook. Mobile gaming, a new market for Zynga, is still relatively new for them and some of their Japanese competitors like Gree and DeNA who are both mobile social gaming platforms have begun making their foray into the U.S. market.

What’s interesting about these competitors is not the game titles they offer, but the fact their profit relative to their size. They command a fraction of the audience share that Zynga has, yet make an average of 26x more per user than Zynga. Therefore, Zynga’s problem is not a lack of hit games or an underwhelming customer base—it’s conversion.

Zynga lags the Japanese companies in converting game players into paying customers. Gree generates $11.21 for every user who plays one of its games at least once a month, according to Macquarie Securities. The firm estimates that DeNA makes $6.50 per month from its regular users. Zynga, with the largest pool of customers, has 292 million regular users but generates a mere 33 cents per month from each. So, the thing that DeNA and Gree have going for it is that they not only create games, but have figured out ways to convert customers as well.

“The biggest challenge in mobile is gaining visibility for your game, as nobody is even sure how exactly the Apple iOS charts work. Therein lies Zynga’s greatest advantage: scale”, writes BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield.

Similar to what it does on Facebook, Zynga has the ability to cross-promote mobile games like Words with Friends within both its existing mobile apps as well as on Facebook. Nobody else can market new games to such a huge base of mobile gamers as Zynga. At least not without spending significant marketing dollars.” Therefore, since they have the distribution channels already in place, they now need to focus on how best to convert these customers. Furthermore, they should be looking at all the ways which mobile apps can be monetized.

Currently, there are four (and only four) ways to make money in mobile applications: paid downloads, executive sponsorships, in-app purchases and advertising. Zynga needs to look at conversion across all four of these areas to both diversify and maximize their revenue potential. We personally think that looking at the underlying mobile behavior of its various gamers is one way to begin figuring that out, as we know from experience that certain audiences are much more likely to make purchases on their mobile devices than others.

F’d Commerce: Facebook Stores Closing Doors

Our two cents:
We study shopper behavior as part of any mobile/social marketing strategy for our clients. We have seen time and time again that regardless of customer demographic, rarely will more than 2% of the overall customer target population use fCommerce. Moreover, many don’t consider social networks to be part of their overall shopping experience, whether it be to learn or get information on new products or services.

Read full article on the beginning of the demise of Facebook Commerce

Wish Lists and Want Button Coming to Facebook

Source: Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes.com September 23, 2011

Facebook users will soon have access to shopping “wish lists” and “want” buttons. Payvment, one of the first developers to offer Facebook storefronts back in 2009, said it would integrate with the new just-announced functionality so that sellers can increase visibility for popular products. The new features will help online sellers by getting shoppers to share their products on the social networking site.

Facebook will allow developers to customize the actions within their app and the News Feed story generated by each action. Payvment’s integration will offer sellers an increase in visibility for the products that shoppers want, own and like and will make the News Feed experience more relevant and meaningful for shoppers and their friends.

When a user clicks a Payvment “Want” button, Facebook will add the item to their Wish List on their profile and will display a News Feed Story on that user’s wall that reads, “Jane wants a Falling Waters Mini Fountain at the Shopping Mall on Facebook,” for example.

According to Payvment, this also enables conversations and comments made on Payvment to be customized to drive more social discovery, such as “Jim reviewed” or “Jane loved” a particular product.

Payvment plans to customize the Wish List feature to enable creation of wedding and baby registries, holiday and birthday wish lists and more. And, no doubt, other storefront providers and retailers will follow their lead.

comScore Reports November 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share

One-third of Mobile Subscribers Access Social Networking on Mobile Device

RESTON, VA, December 29, 2011 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending November 2011. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6 percent market share. Google Android continued to capture share in the smartphone market to reach 46.9 percent market share.

OEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by LG with 20.5 percent share and Motorola with 13.7 percent share. Apple strengthened its position at #4 with 11.2 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.5 percent share.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 25.3% 25.6% 0.3
LG 21.0% 20.5% -0.5
Motorola 14.0% 13.7% -0.3
Apple 9.8% 11.2% 1.4
RIM 7.1% 6.5% -0.6

Smartphone Platform Market Share

91.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in November, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 46.9 percent market share, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 1.4 percentage point to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 43.8% 46.9% 3.1
Apple 27.3% 28.7% 1.4
RIM 19.7% 16.6% -3.1
Microsoft 5.7% 5.2% -0.5
Symbian 1.8% 1.5% -0.3

Mobile Content Usage

In November, 72.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.1 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 44.9 percent of subscribers (up 3.3 percentage points), while browsers were used by 44.4 percent (up 2.3 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 33.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 29.7 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 21.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.0 percentage points).

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 70.5% 72.6% 2.1
Used downloaded apps 41.6% 44.9% 3.3
Used browser 42.1% 44.4% 2.3
Accessed social networking site or blog 30.9% 33.0% 2.1
Played Games 28.5% 29.7% 1.2
Listened to music on mobile phone 20.7% 21.7% 1.0

Behavior and insight on this holiday season’s mobile shopper

Our two cents:
It’s certainly no surprise to learn of the compound growth rate of research and purchases for mobile shoppers. While some retailers made early bets in mobile that have in some cases yielded 20% increase in online sales, most are still trying to define an overall mobile strategy. So when the IBM says things like “Retailers are going to have to do a really good job in targeting their messages and promotions for mobile users” we can’t help but shed some light on what exactly that means for most retailers. Below are a few key points to “getting it right” for any retailer:

  1. Remember that mobile shoppers are surgical shoppers. And just as importnat, remember that shopping on a retailer’s mobile site means visual shopping, especially for ESL shoppers. Therefore, keeping copy to a minimum and getting multiple (and easily downloadable) images on the site is key. With the average mobile device shopper spending about 4 minutes on a site, it becomes imperative for retailers to quickly serve up ONLY the most relevant content. Furthermore, mobile shoppers also tend to do less browsing and look at fewer products when they shop, making it more imperative for retailers to personalize messages and content. Simply put, shoppers go to websites to get ideas, but they go to mobile sites to get what they want.
  2. Use social networks to drive engagement and sales online. Social networks are an important factor in retail. According to IBM Coremetrics data, 9.2% of consumers in October that came to a retailer’s web site from a social media site made a purchase, compared to 5.5% who visited the store site directly. Retailers should not walk away from this fact thinking that adding a social networking step to the shopper journey is the right way to go. “Liking” or “following” a brand on a social network is a non-linear action for shoppers and not part of the traditional sales funnel. Therefore, retailers would be ill-advised to treat it like any other media channel.
  3. Invest in mobile search. This is one of the few silver bullets retailers have in mobile and not nearly enough of them use it. The simple fact is that everyone uses mobile search and with google now running a mobile-specific algorithm, retailers must respond with mobile-specific SEO and SEM strategies.

Read WSJ article