Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report is widely anticipated, analyzed and discussed by the tech & business world. This year too the report has tonnes of insightful data for the world of mobile, technology, internet and commerce. Here are some key takeaways from a mobile marketing perspective:
Solid user growth, slowing smartphone growth:
In 2016, the growth of total internet users has remained flat at a solid 10%. Even though the internet global users growth has been steady, growth in internet engagement (Time Spent per Adult User per Day with Digital Media, USA) has seen a marginal rise from 5.4% to 5.6%.
For brands, it means that they will have to work a lot harder in garnering consumer attention be it through mobile advertising or bespoke apps. Another interesting point to note is that unlike the global trend, India and China have seen a steep growth in increase of internet users. In 2016, the number of internet users in India and China grew by 28% and 12% respectively. For enterprises, this is the right time to tap into these markets with custom solutions and messages designed to cater to the digital environment of these markets.
It is also interesting to note that number of smartphones sold increased only by 3% in 2016, compared to 10% the previous year prior. It is maybe a reflection of hardware fatigue in the category which is waiting for the next big thing in terms of feature set.
Enterprise apps need to raise the bar:
Over the years, large enterprises have taken a rather blasé attitude toward app design. Enterprise apps have hardly been known for a delightful user-experience. But this trend is changing in the right direction as consumer expectations are changing.
Today, consumers do not differentiate between a B2C or B2B app. They have been conditioned to expect a delightful user experience thanks to the popular consumer-facing apps. In the enterprise environment too, they want a reliable, easy to use, well-designed app. Ted Sergott, a SaaS and Cloud expert outlined what it take to create a successful B2B app in a webinar, How To Build a 5-Star Mobile App.
Browsers turned buyers
More consumers are buying online than ever. Platforms like Google, Facebook, Pinterest are leveraging this opportunity to convert a browsing habit into a buying habit. Revenue from online ads was up by 22% in 2016. Most of this additional spending is now coming from mobile devices. What it means for retail and e-commerce brands is a design mindset change from mere showcasing of merchandise to motivating consumers to complete purchases.
Location-based ads: driving footfalls
Platforms like Uber, Foursquare and Nextdoor are collaborating to provide location-based ads. These location-based ads are used to drive footfalls in stores. In fact, consumers are more accepting to mobile ads which offer them rewards. This is an integration location, device tracking and personalized offers which can turn consumers into shoppers.
Voice assistants: getting louder
Use of voice assistants is on the rise with 20% of mobile searches made using a voice query in 2016. Most of these queries are made using conversational languages. Major players in the market like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant are adding advanced features to make voice assistant experience more human like for users using technologies like NLP (Natural Language Processing) and AI.
Consumers: give me real-time solutions
Online customer conversations are rising rapidly. This is due to the fact that customers expect personalised attention from brands and no longer have to depend on customer care numbers to raise a complaint – social media has solved that problem for them.
Industries like retail and banking have started to gauge this trend and have begun using bots as shopping assistants and advisors. Brands will have to leverage this willingness of users to have mobile conversations to create simple and personalized experiences for them. The stakes of getting it right are high as the report also states that 82% of customers stopped doing business with a company in 2016 after a bad experience, compared to 76% in 2014.
e-commerce: AR and VR opportunities
The e-commerce industry has seen an impressive growth as the number of packages shipped in U.S. rose 9% in 2016 and online retail sales in the U.S. increased by 15% from 2015 to 2016. E-commerce players are using technologies like AI and AR to create an in-store experience for customers.
But does that mean retail is dead? Mediocre retail experience is dead, says the report. While users still prefer store shopping, retailers must focus on providing an online experience which mirrors their store experience for customers.
You can read the detailed Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report here.