Consumers want less clutter on their mobile devices
The mobile device is changing the world in many ways. In the US, 90% of the population over age 13 has a mobile device. Of that, 23% has a smartphone, a percentage that continues to increase, according to comScore, a digital business intelligence firm. The mobile device also isn't just for making phone calls anymore. It also sends text messages and browses the Web from the palm of your hand.
In the commerce space, this explosive growth has blurred the lines between e-commerce and m-commerce. It has also blurred the lines between m-commerce and the in-store shopping experience. In this year's holiday shopping season, many consumers walked the floors of retail shops checking prices from their mobile device and receiving offers from merchants simultaneously. Or, they purchased the most requested gift – a gift card.
At Outlier, we watched this mobile commerce growth and the changes in the gift card market and developed Swagg, a mobile app that will let consumers buy, send and swap gift cards. The app shows offers from more than 3,000 merchants and allows consumers to manage their existing gifts, rewards and loyalty cards in one place.
After years of primary research, we learned that 71% of consumers want a single and simple application to access, manage and use their membership, loyalty, offers and gift cards. They don't want to clutter their smartphones with multiple applications at the same time they are cleaning out their bulging wallets. Also, 58% of those surveyed want to be directly connected with the brands they care about, not just receiving e-mails for merchants that have no meaning or relevance to them. Today's mobile consumer welcomes the chance to receive offers directly to their mobile device as well as the opportunity to buy and redeem gift cards.
I'm sure you have had the experience of shopping in a retail outlet only to remember that you had an unused gift card sitting at home. There are a lot of unused cards out there – more than $5 billion-worth, according to the Tower Group, a research and consulting firm.
The mobile consumer is ready to move from paper and plastic to digital. Mobile apps, like Swagg, are making this a reality and giving retailers another channel to directly touch the consumer. Therefore, retailers and brands should be thinking about how to integrate the mobile device into their plans because it gives them the opportunity to communicate directly with consumers at the right time, place and moment.
Marc de Grandpre is the head of marketing at Outlier, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm.