I was recently killing time on a train platform and staring down some of the oversized billboard ads across the tracks from me and wondering if there had ever been a time ever that I had purchased something based on train station advertising. My conclusion was ‘probably not’. However, I’ve never been a 9 to 5, CBD, train commuter, so maybe the ads work better as asubliminal message that’s continually drilled into the minds of people staring out of train windows on early mornings wishing they were somewhere else. But if that’s true, then now all hope maybe lost, as all those eyes that once stared out of scribbled on windows now have something better to look at.
Something hand-held, full of games, news, TV and Facebook. Enter the mobile device and exit the attention span of your audience. A quick head count and I was not surprised to find that out of the 14 people standing near me, some 9 were so engaged by their mobile device that I was unsure if they had even noticed that the train had arrived, but most, without barely even glancing up, stepped straight onto the carriage and into a seat without breaking their concentration at all. Their devices hypnotic ability would put Peter Powers to shame.
So what does mobile device use really look like in Australia and what does it mean for business? Recent stats say that more than half of mobile device users in Australia have internet enabled and around 26% of them access the internet from their phone EVERY DAY! In the next 5 years its predicted that more people will be connected to the Internet via a mobile, than a computer.
In 2009, over $1.6 billion was purchased via a mobile device worldwide. And did you know that Google has a separate index for mobile websites, so if you do go mobile you’ll have a greater chance at a higher Google ranking on mobile device searches, just because few companies are taking up that space. In fact only 5% of the top 500 online retails have an iPhone app or mobile website. And Facebook users that log on via a mobile device check it twice as often as users that log in on their computer.
But its not all social networking, we are also using our mobiles for directions, news sites, and looking for products and services. With applications like ‘AroundMe’ and more and more companies using QR codes and NFC technology smart phones will soon become an important way for companies to improve the user experience between their customer and their product.
That said, there is still place for underground station billboards, a recent promotion in Japan gave smart phone users the ability to scan QR codes on images of products and do virtual grocery shopping while waiting for their train. Great idea but an even greater fail when the company running the promotion didn’t account for the lack of phone reception underground!
WHAT THE NFC?
NFC stands for Near Field Communication – NFC enables a two-way communication between devices. Soon we’ll see wider use of a ‘mobile wallet’ or the ability to make payments with our mobile devices. Currently in Europe NFC is being used in an E-moving initiative that enables commuters to pay for public transport with their smart phone! SSL
Written by Ashleigh Johnson, director Two Cents Group