tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/iphone-ios Latest iPhone/iOS content from Econsultancy 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68075 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 Who will win the live-streaming battle: Facebook Live or Periscope? Blake Cahill <p>With an injection of social along with the time-sensitive nature of breaking broadcast, live-streaming is simply an age-old device repurposed for the present times. </p> <h3><strong>What does it mean for all of us?</strong></h3> <p>As traditional social channels are coming close to saturation, tech companies need to build new channels to invigorate their consumers.</p> <p>For brand marketers, this offers a tremendous opportunity to access tech-native early-adopter millennials and post-millennials – the customers of today and tomorrow.</p> <p>Most of whom have foregone broadcast, print, and 1.0 social networks for next-gen platforms.</p> <p>When it comes to advertising value, according to <a href="http://totalaccess.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1014105&amp;dsNav=Ro:-1,N:789,Nr:NOT(Type%3aComparative+Estimate)">eMarketer</a>, digital video advertising spending grew 46% to $7.7bn in the US last year alone.</p> <p>Meaning marketers are increasingly betting on the success of these live platforms. </p> <h3><strong>#SendMeToSleep – the world’s most sleep-inducing social campaign</strong></h3> <p>A good example is the <a href="http://www.philips.co.uk/healthcare/resources/landing/world-sleep-day">#SendMeToSleep</a> social media campaign we rolled out in time for the World Sleep Day.</p> <p>As part of this campaign – during which we actively tried to create content so boring it was capable of sending our audiences straight to sleep – Philips broadcasted what Twitter tells us is the world’s longest Periscope stream.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZzOFWhtxEUw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>For 41 hours straight, we showed splashes of paint being added to a canvas.</p> <p>And because the whole campaign was engaging and worked as a holistic experience, more than 6,000 people tuned in to watch paint dry.</p> <p>Besides being strangely soothing and entertaining, the campaign has achieved significant commercial success which should be the cornerstone of any good marketing strategy.</p> <h3><strong>Periscope &amp; Facebook Live: A modern day David &amp; Goliath?</strong></h3> <p>At first glance, it might look like Facebook is the obvious winner – it has the size, money, user base and brand trust as a popular advertising platform.</p> <p>Despite all this, however, I wouldn’t count out Twitter just yet.</p> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Facebook Live:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>Audience:</strong> Facebook has a user base of 1.2bn people.</li> <li> <strong>Brand presence:</strong> Live broadcast can bring life back to Facebook brand pages that have been lagging behind Instagram and Twitter in terms of engagement.</li> <li> <strong>Spending power:</strong> Facebook has been on a spending spree signing over 140 contracts worth more than $50m with the likes of CNN, the New York Times and BuzzFeed.</li> <li> <strong>Pioneers:</strong> Airbnb and Disney teamed up for the Jungle Book premiere, Chevrolet used it to launch its new electric car, and Patron taught viewers how to master the perfect drink. </li> </ol> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Periscope:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>The “cool” factor:</strong> Twitter’s <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-12/social-studies-comparing-twitter-with-facebook-in-charts">user base</a> skew younger, more diverse, wealthier, more educated and more likely to live in urban areas. This will drive usage as the two platforms integrate.</li> <li> <strong>Additional features:</strong> The native app offers a dedicated space with broadcast tabs, account tracking and sketch &amp; reaction options that just make it a bit more fun and user-oriented.</li> <li> <strong>Content:</strong> Periscope recently secured partnerships with <a href="https://gopro.com/help/articles/Block/Periscope-Live-Streaming-with-your-GoPro">GoPro</a> and <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/twitter-to-stream-nfl-thursday-night-games-2016-4">Thursday Night Football</a> (NFL) to ensure a lineup of engaging content.</li> <li> <strong>Innovation:</strong> Periscope just recently announced a series of new functions such as drone feed integration, search functions, and auto-save through app and Twitter comments.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>What are the downsides? </strong></h3> <p>Live on camera, some products, and even some people, may not work well.</p> <p>It’s difficult to be smartly scripted while still coming across as authentic, and a constant stream of comments from viewers can be hard to manage and moderate.</p> <p>It’s also important that you own what you’re streaming. No brand wants to end up tied in legal battles because they streamed content where ownership and rights haven’t been made clear.</p> <p>As with all new tools, it’s not easy to measure a return on investment. How you measure success – do you look at viewer numbers or drop-offs, likes or the comments?</p> <p>Lastly, live-streaming without a clear strategy and a clear focus on quality and relevance will ultimately disappoint the audience.</p> <h3><strong>Who is the winner?  </strong></h3> <p>At this point, it’s still too early to call.</p> <p>However, the competition is heating up, with YouTube and Tumblr unveiling their competitive offering along with lesser known players such as Live.ly, Livestream, and Hang all releasing their own live broadcast services.   </p> <p>If you’ve already placed your bets then make sure your content fits with the medium and you’re totally clear on ownership, quality, and measurement.</p> <p>Everything after that is just a stream away. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/"><em>What marketers need to know about Facebook's livestreaming push</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67712-seven-helpful-tips-for-livestreaming-success/"><em>Seven helpful tips for livestreaming success</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67967-six-things-we-learned-from-using-periscope-to-live-stream-from-fodm16/"><em>Six things we learned from using Periscope to live stream from #FODM16</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66837 2015-08-20T15:03:49+01:00 2015-08-20T15:03:49+01:00 Three points to consider when developing a mobile app strategy Carin Van Vuuren <p>Apps have quickly become a source of information, utility and point of contact between users and brands.</p> <p>In fact, according to Flurry, a staggering 86% of all time spent on mobile devices is now happening within apps, with users converting at a 21% higher rate than in-store.</p> <p>Brands that are not considering an app are avoiding an essential question that should be answered when planning a mobile strategy.</p> <p>Every brand’s mobile strategy must be designed to meet the unique needs and challenges of its business, brand identity and customer preferences.</p> <p>Determining whether your brand needs an app and uncovering its potential are vital steps in building out a winning mobile strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind...</p> <h3><strong>Mobile app vs. mobile web</strong></h3> <p>Before investing in an app, consider the benefits, possible disadvantages, required resources and associated costs.</p> <p>Unless you have a clear strategy, target audience and distinct use case in mind, pursuing a mobile app may not make sense.</p> <p>For instance, if you’re satisfied with the level of engagement on and repeat visits to your mobile site, or if you don’t have the budget to experiment with an app, you should focus on further optimizing the mobile web experience.</p> <p>Like apps, the mobile web has its advantages and is especially crucial for audiences just discovering your site. According to Usablenet's study, 67% of mobile users are more likely to make a purchase via website than app.</p> <p>Mobile apps, on the other hand, allow for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66444-how-consumers-behave-on-ecommerce-apps">deeper interaction with consumers</a>. Personalized content in an app is powerful, whereas mobile web often seems less specific or aimed toward a larger audience.</p> <p>Before coming to a final decision, however, you should first evaluate the use case and value of native device functionality to determine which strategy is best aligned with both your business and users’ needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3089/apps_iphone.jpg" alt=""></p> <h3><strong>Balancing efficiency with customer experience</strong></h3> <p>When deciding to build an app, pay close attention to the tasks customers perform at the highest frequency.</p> <p>Is there room to simplify these processes and streamline the brand experience? This evaluation will help determine where an app can add value to the customer journey and why they’ll be encouraged to download the app.</p> <p>That said, you must also pay special mind to the interplay between apps and web. The last thing that you want is for your mobile experiences to cannibalize each other.</p> <p>Next, consider which native capabilities best support use cases that can differentiate the experience. It is imperative to gauge the value of third party integrations and APIs that make apps more useful and transform the mobile experience.</p> <p>Repeat use is central to an app’s long-term success. Of users who make an in-app purchase, 44% do not do so until they have interacted with an app at least 10 times.</p> <p>Similarly, users who interact with an app multiple times before making a purchase also make 25% more in-app purchases during their consumer lifetime.</p> <p>For high-frequency engagement, apps must remain current and content must be refreshed, requiring a long-term commitment to innovation and marketing investment.</p> <p>Nothing in the mobile world exists in a vacuum, just as apps require regular updates, efforts to promote your app must continue on a sustained basis to bring the most value to both brand and consumer. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8317/apps.png" alt=""></p> <h3><strong>Ensuring (sustained) quality execution</strong></h3> <p>Once a comprehensive strategy is in order, brands should ensure apps will be executed in an efficient manner.</p> <p>Examine the resources you’ll need when building an app and prioritize them internally.</p> <p>Primarily, it is important to ensure your development team has deep user experience capabilities, the ability to deliver high-performing apps within a specific timeframe and budget and technical skill to integrate the app with an existing platform, channel or API.</p> <p>The team should also have the flexibility to provide ongoing support after the app’s launch, including updates to and refreshes of the user experience. </p> <p>Once an app is complete, pay close attention to users’ reactions by evaluating ratings and downloads in the app store.</p> <p>Further engage in frequent UX audits to gauge which functionalities can be improved and which features or aspects of the experience best drive repeat visits.</p> <p>Ultimately, the measure of an app’s success comes from the combination of engagement and transactions. By keeping end goals in mind and conferring with user preference, you just may find your app at the top of the charts.</p> <p><em>For more data and insight download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence">The Quest for Mobile Excellence</a> briefing, perfect for those wishing to benchmark their own activities around mobile, and to elevate the importance of related business initiatives within their organisations.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66474 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 Six ways mobile can ease traveler stress and increase bookings Carin Van Vuuren <p dir="ltr">In order to reduce travel stress and bolster brand loyalty, brands should:</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Optimize travel trust</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Mobile provides consumers access to the world right at their fingertips.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a few quick taps, globetrotters can scope out destinations and amenities halfway around the world -- yet according to <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">research we recently conducted</a>,<strong> 41% refrain from researching on mobile,</strong> a stark contrast from the whopping 87% that browse by tablet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the swarms of mobile-centric travelers, many travel sites are not properly optimized for mobile. Photos and videos are difficult to view, navigation is flawed and filtering is insufficient.</p> <p dir="ltr">To optimize travel trust and ensure experiences are seamless and consistent on all channels, brands are advised to carry out an audit of their customer experience and see where consumer pain points lie.</p> <p dir="ltr">By ensuring content is consistent across all touchpoints, brands can minimize the risk of unnecessary misunderstanding and eliminate the frustration associated with planning a trip.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Use visuals to drive excitement</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">To make the mobile experience more conductive for researching trips, <strong>brands should pay special attention to high-quality visual content. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Images and videos are the selling point during the research and booking phases and often greatly impact travelers’ decisions. Yet, visuals are a key aspect travelers feel is missing from their mobile experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">To drive excitement, brands must provide a visual representation of the experience they will be receiving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Engage travelers with rich visual content throughout the experience, leveraging location-specific videos and user-generated reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr">By incorporating best UX practices, which also include eliminating “pinch and zoom” and pixelated  images,  users will feel more confident about making a booking decision on mobile.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Soothe insecurities</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Research shows that insecurity is a prominent emotion during the booking stage of the consumer journey.</p> <p dir="ltr">During this phase, travelers worry whether sensitive information is safe over open and unsecured connections, a factor that can drastically affect one’s willingness to book and pay on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">In fact, <strong>51% of travelers are not likely to use mobile payment while 58% of travelers are apprehensive to book by mobile.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">To ease such concerns, travel brands should incorporate feedback and security elements throughout the journey, such as progress bars and visual security cues, and embrace language ensuring users their personal information is safe.</p> <p dir="ltr">By adding UX elements that increase the users’ sense of reassurance, brands can reduce stress and increase traveler confidence.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Fight frustration with feedback</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Nobody likes sparring with tech support. While researching and booking trips, travelers are frustrated by slow load times and fear losing connection in the midst of transactions, anxieties heightened by the crucial role these stages play.</p> <p dir="ltr">To soothe tension, <strong>brands must gauge if their sites are user friendly and aptly designed for performance. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In particular, users crave timely feedback on their actions; the use of a spinner indicates the system is working, addressing dreaded lag times.</p> <p dir="ltr">Including a numbered step indicator throughout the core booking stages also helps users maintain a sense of progress.</p> <p dir="ltr">By paying attention to technical issues that may arise on mobile, and updating the user during their experience, brands can eliminate frustration and decrease the number of drop offs on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands should also streamline operations by reducing the number of lengthy pages and streamlining forms to include only those fields vital to checkout.</p> <p dir="ltr">Designing functionalities tied to user activity can diffuse frustration while increasing performance and decreasing the likelihood of technical issues.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Build anticipation through apps</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Once travelers arrive at their destination, they yearn to explore their surroundings, not wait on a lengthy check-in line.</p> <p dir="ltr">More and more, hoteliers are embracing functionalities like mobile check-in and keyless entry, streamlining the admissions process.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mobile is truly a one-stop shop for travelers; devices could be used to order room service, request housekeeping and access other amenities.</p> <p dir="ltr">Opportunities exist to create apps that focus on specific use cases, such as Virtual Concierge, Food &amp; Beverage, Beauty Services, or Banqueting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, rather than carry guidebooks, <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">61% of travelers value local information</a> on a brand’s mobile site to help plan their stay.</p> <p dir="ltr">A well-trained staff could support and complement new technologies while user testing can find the right balance between human interaction and automation.</p> <p dir="ltr">By providing a personalized experience, users will be more eager to use mobile throughout the journey.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Incentivize sharing, streamline redemption</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">After getaways, travelers return home with stories to tell, yet smartphones seldom do the sharing. </p> <p dir="ltr">Fewer than four out of 10 travelers share mobile photos on a brand’s social media pages and nearly all said they would not be inclined to share their travel experience unless it was beneficial to them.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a prime opportunity for brands to offer customers incentives to share and book directly through their site. Getting customers to interact directly through your site creates a sense of excitement in travelers and increases the likelihood they’ll return to your site in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">Loyalty programs are also a massive missed opportunity. Though the majority of travelers collect loyalty points, programs as a whole are underleveraged; <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">less than a third redeem points on mobile</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands must take measures to incorporate loyalty into mobile and market it as an extension of their brand. Design sites that allow travelers to seamlessly access their points and stress that interactions will be beneficial to them and their wallets.</p> <p dir="ltr">JetBlue, for example, allows loyalty members to pay for flights using acquired points. By clearly depicting this option, travelers see the value of such a program and can seamlessly claim their reward.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3368/jetBlue_Loyalty__1_.PNG" alt="" width="600"></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While brands are accustomed to understanding a traveler’s practical needs and personal preferences, it is also valuable to respond to the emotional states of their customers.</p> <p dir="ltr">From the earliest rounds of research to boarding the flight home, emotions play a key role in travelers’ mobile experience; how brands cater to these sentiments can make or break relationships.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel brands should proactively conduct a UX audit to see how see how functionalities perform. To best engage audiences, invite users to browse and book with compelling visual navigation, advanced search options and rich visual content.</p> <p dir="ltr">By <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65347-10-essential-features-for-mobile-travel-sites">improving the user experience of mobile offerings</a>, brands heighten the overall travel experience for guests and inspire repeat business.</p> <p dir="ltr">Implementing simple fixes can help ensure a user’s next vacation won’t be their last vacation with you.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3773 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence <p><strong>The Quest for Mobile Excellence </strong>briefing, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <strong><a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html">Adobe</a></strong>, provides data and insights for those wishing to benchmark their own activities around mobile, and to elevate the importance of related business initiatives within their organisations.</p> <p>This research comes 12 months after Econsultancy and Adobe published the <strong><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-finding-the-path-to-mobile-maturity/">Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity report</a></strong>, giving us a great opportunity to assess the progress that companies have made in the intervening period.</p> <p>This year’s research is based on a global survey of nearly 3,000 marketers and digital professionals, providing another robust data set with which to compare last year’s findings.</p> <p>The following sections are featured in the report:</p> <ul> <li>Companies rise to the mobile challenge</li> <li>The desktop bias</li> <li>Investment and experimentation</li> <li>The need for mobile measurement</li> <li>The rise and rise of mobile apps</li> <li>Measuring, testing and optimising apps</li> <li>Ownership of mobile in a multichannel world</li> </ul> <h3> <strong>Findings</strong> include:</h3> <ul> <li>Almost two-thirds of companies (62%) are planning to <strong>increase their mobile investments in 2015</strong> compared to only 3% who are decreasing budgets. </li> <li>Around a fifth (19%) of companies now <strong>regard themselves as ‘mobile-first’</strong> compared to 13% last year.</li> <li>A third of companies (34%) said they had <strong>‘a defined mobile strategy that goes out at least 12 months’</strong>, down from 36% who agreed with this statement last year.</li> <li>The vast majority of respondents (71%) say that <strong>the desktop website is their top priority</strong> when it comes to providing a consistent customer experience, ahead of mobile site (16%), smartphone applications (10%) and tablet apps (3%). </li> <li>Only 11% strongly agree that they understand <strong>how mobile fits into the customer journey</strong> across devices and channels.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.</p> <h4> <strong>Econsultancy's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/uk/marketing">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefings">here</a>.</strong> </h4> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66061 2015-02-09T14:05:50+00:00 2015-02-09T14:05:50+00:00 Homebase’s new mobile commerce app reviewed David Moth <p>Available on iOS and Android, the app enables customers to browse the entire product range, make a purchase, or check stock at their local store.</p> <p>Homebase receives more than 50% of its traffic through mobile devices and the new app has already been downloaded more than 70,000 times.</p> <p>Here’s what I thought of it, and for more on this topic read our posts on mobile apps from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62489-b-q-s-club-app-is-the-perfect-mobile-loyalty-scheme/">B&amp;Q</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65663-house-of-fraser-unveils-new-android-app-with-real-time-stock-checker/">House of Fraser</a>...</p> <h3>Login and homepage</h3> <p>Upon opening the app for the first time, users are asked whether they want to login or register with Homebase.</p> <p>On the assumption that most people downloading the app will already be Homebase customers, I signed up to make sure I got the full in-app experience.</p> <p>The registration form was really simple. It just needed my name, email address and postcode.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/wbNcAyN.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/2nboIkZ.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>The homepage itself is a bit random. Underneath the big sales promotion there are two product categories that users can swipe to explore.</p> <p>They are labelled ‘popular products’ and ‘best sellers’, which surely mean the same thing? And they do indeed contain many similar products.</p> <p>Also, the items bear no relation to each other. For example, ‘popular products’ contains an outdoor storage unit, wall tiles, indoor dining furniture, a home alarm and laminate flooring.</p> <p>It might be more useful to have links to different product categories on the home screen.</p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>If you do want to navigate to product categories you have to choose the ‘browse’ option from the hamburger menu.</p> <p>This isn’t particularly clear in my opinion as ‘browse’ uses the same magnifying glass logo as the search tool.</p> <p>The category options and their sub-sections use big icons that include text and attractive imagery, so it’s very easy to navigate around the app.</p> <p>One criticism here would be that the app includes a category for ‘Christmas’, which isn’t very useful in February.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/WvPmldJ.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/y4iXUlQ.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>I’m currently thinking about doing some work to my garden so I’m in the market for some trellis.</p> <p>The app makes it very easy to browse the different options, with each item including a big image, cost, star rating (where available), and fulfilment options (in-store/home delivery).</p> <h3>Search tool</h3> <p>As with most apps, the search results were a mixed bag.</p> <p>Though I could find what I was looking for by doing a bit of scrolling, there were quite a few erroneous or irrelevant results.</p> <p>For example, the top results in my search for ‘trellis’ were a pair of children’s playhouses.</p> <p>Also, it doesn’t offer predictive search or alternative spelling suggestions, which are fairly common UX features.</p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a clear, uncluttered design so it’s easy to find all the relevant information.</p> <p>They provide big product images, customer reviews, a decent description, delivery options, and alternative product recommendations.</p> <p>There are a few inconsistencies though, which are presumably an inevitable consequence of stocking such a broad range of products.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/K9ix5sD.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/5XCwF3l.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>Some pages have several images while others only have one, and the stock checking function isn’t universally available.</p> <p>Another minor problem is that the red special offer promo isn’t showing properly, as you can see on the above screenshot.</p> <h3>Stock checker</h3> <p>Mobile apps have the potential to be an integral part of a retailer’s multichannel offering, but only if they offer the right functionality.</p> <p>Homebase’s app has a really useful stock checker tool that will likely help to drive footfall in-store.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/IKoyLXx.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/C5guYVL.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>It works extremely quickly, enabling customers to see where the product is available, the store’s location and its opening times.</p> <p>However you can’t actually reserve the product through the stock-checking tool, so you have to gamble that it won’t have sold out by the time you arrive.</p> <h3>The checkout</h3> <p>When you select an item using the excellent ‘add to basket’ CTA it’s not immediately obvious how to then get to the shopping basket.</p> <p>While most apps either take you there automatically or have a basket icon in the top right-hand corner, in Homebase’s app the basket is only available in the hamburger menu.</p> <p>This isn’t a major flaw, but it probably isn’t what most users would expect.</p> <p>Unfortunately the next stage of the process does suffer from a major flaw.</p> <p>Having selected in-store pickup I’m then routed to a desktop site to complete the order, which ironically includes a banner ad encouraging me to download the new app.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/SRA0Ajm.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/r4eMxHH.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>For some reason my login then wouldn’t work, and the guest checkout required a huge amount of form filling and pinching and zooming.</p> <p>This is a massive barrier to purchase and should really have been sorted out prior to launch.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Homebase’s app has the potential to be really good, but it currently has way too many rough edges and UX flaws.</p> <p>These range from minor issues (e.g. ‘browse’ and ‘search’ icons are the same, shopping basket located in the hamburger menu) to big problems such as the lack of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65493-10-of-the-world-s-best-mobile-commerce-checkouts/">a mobile checkout</a>.</p> <p>I’m sure these problems will be fixed as Homebase upgrades and develops the app, in which case it could be a very important sales channel, particularly given the growing usage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click-and-collect services</a>.</p> <p>But at the moment the app is really only useful for product research as there are too many barriers to purchase.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66020 2015-01-28T09:58:12+00:00 2015-01-28T09:58:12+00:00 Very.co.uk seeks to boost m-commerce sales with new iPhone app David Moth <p>Mobile is now its largest sales channel, accounting for 58% of online sales at Very.co.uk over Christmas.</p> <p>The app allows users to browse the full product range and also includes an image recognition search tool.</p> <p>Read on to find out what I thought of the app, or for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65663-house-of-fraser-unveils-new-android-app-with-real-time-stock-checker/">House of Fraser’s new mobile app</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62312-how-shop-direct-group-used-its-content-strategy-to-improve-search-rankings/">Shop Direct’s content strategy</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage and navigation</h3> <p>The app has a fairly standard design, which is absolutely no bad thing.</p> <p>The homepage has links to different features and full navigation options are hosted in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65511-hamburger-menus-for-mobile-navigation-do-they-work/">a hamburger menu</a>.</p> <p>It’s very simple and means users should have no problem finding their way around.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/8d3Hjst.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/3rUn9fz.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a neat uncluttered design that has been achieved by stripping out a couple of the features found on desktop.</p> <p>It still includes customer reviews, several images, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61817-six-retailers-that-used-product-videos-to-improve-conversion-rates/">product videos</a> (which loaded extremely quickly), and a detailed description.</p> <p>But gone are the three different ‘suggested product’ tabs and the zoom tool. </p> <p>As an aside, I also noticed there’s no obvious way of finding out the delivery cost either on desktop or mobile.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/D99G6RQ.png" alt="" width="200">     <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/FXuAj2U.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>When you click the ‘Add to basket’ CTA the app encourages users to head straight to the checkout, which increases the chance that a mobile user will actually buy something.</p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>All Very.co.uk users are forced to register an account before they checkout, which isn’t ideal as it’s a major friction point.</p> <p>Even so, many brands choose to keep a login as it means they can track customers more effectively.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/8U67RYC.png" alt="" width="200">     <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/3XDly1j.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>However Very.co.uk makes the situation worse by not providing a facility for new users to create an account within the app.</p> <p>In order to get to the checkout I had to first go onto the desktop site to register an account, then go back onto the app.</p> <p>In reality I doubt any new customers would bother with this process, but then would new customers download the app?</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/XHMlOwO.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>The checkout itself is very quick and easy because Very already has most of my details. </p> <p>Standard delivery costs £3.95 which seems rather steep compared to other fashion retailers.</p> <p>Weirdly I would have been able to submit the order before entering my credit card details. I’m not sure how this works, but I assume it has something to do with Very’s obsession with making customers create an account with them.</p> <p>This allows customers to receive a monthly invoice and pay for their orders in instalments.</p> <p>It’s a system that has worked extremely well for Next as people like the convenience of doing all their shopping from a single store and delaying the payment.</p> <h3>Account functionality</h3> <p>I couldn’t test this myself as I don’t have an account with Very.co.uk, but it enables people to check and manage their account details.</p> <p>Customers can track their orders, check their balance and available funds, and pay their statement.</p> <p>I can imagine this would be extremely useful for loyal customers and will also help to convert some casual users into more regular buyers.</p> <p>That APR looks very reasonable...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8744/myaccount-hi-res-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>Image recognition</h3> <p>One of the app’s most publicised features is an image recognition search tool that allows shoppers to search for similar items on Very.co.uk just by taking a photo.</p> <p>‘Snap Style’ is mentioned on the app homepage and also features in the hamburger menu dropdown.</p> <p>Image recognition isn’t exactly new technology, which is why it’s surprising that the tool has a few bugs.</p> <p>For example, when you take a photo using Snap Style the resulting image is a massively zoomed-in version, so you can’t actually see the object you initially photographed.</p> <p>And for some reason I wasn’t able to pinch and zoom to make the image smaller.</p> <p>These pictures show what I mean. On the left is the shot I lined up, on the right is the resulting photo.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/R9SZZ1A.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/574HZXR.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <p>The quality of the search results can also be quite variable.</p> <p>If you scan a block colour then the results tend to be very good. </p> <p>But say I wanted something to match a simple black and white pattern. The image I searched with is on the left, while the right-hand screenshot shows one of the product suggestions. Not exactly what I was expecting.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/xg5HT29.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/HcJ3wKQ.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Very.co.uk has produced a useful app that offers a decent UX and simple navigation.</p> <p>The problems that I found were mainly to do with its business model (forcing people to register), though the much-heralded image recognition also needs a bit of tweaking.</p> <p>Overall though the app is a good addition to Very’s mobile commerce offering and should help to further increase its revenues through this channel.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65972 2015-01-16T10:58:54+00:00 2015-01-16T10:58:54+00:00 Start Me Up! A profile of social treating app Givvit David Moth <p>Launching a new app is no easy task, so we spoke to co-founder Alex Kennedy to find out more about <a href="http://www.givvit.com/">Givvit</a>...</p> <h3>In one sentence, what is your product/service?</h3> <p>Givvit is an app that lets you send little treats such as coffees, drinks and snacks to friends, family and colleagues for them to pick up at our range of high street retail partners.</p> <h3>What problem(s) does it solve?</h3> <p>There is no effective method to digitally treat a friend, colleague, customer or employee to an everyday, low cost treat such as a coffee, cake or a beer.</p> <p>Treating is a universal behaviour which can be effectively used to highlight and augment a particular thought or message to distinguish it from the crowd but there is currently no way to properly enable this.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/79595480?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Online communication has become increasingly impersonal, with email overload and over 5bn daily likes and 500m daily tweets; messages often get lost in the ’noise’.</p> <p>Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy, fun and good value method to reward customers, incentivise employees and help people show their loved ones they care?</p> <h3>What are your immediate goals?</h3> <p>To build an engaged user base, get more retail “treat” partners on board and generally spread the good word of Givvit! </p> <h3>What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?</h3> <p>We have had a million challenges to get it from an idea to a live and functioning product. </p> <p>The biggest one has been the tech as neither I, nor my co-founder James can write a line of code. </p> <p>So our partnership with Shaping Cloud helped us surmount that challenge, it helped that I went to school with Carlos the founder. </p> <p>We have worked very hard to ensure that anyone we have taken on has been of the same ethos and beliefs as James and I, and probably by luck more than design the guys working on Givvit now are all amazing.</p> <h3>How will the company make money?</h3> <p>We will make a very small margin on each treat bought. So we’ll only make money if we have real scale… the battle is on.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8214/Screen_Shot_2015-01-14_at_17.32.07.png" alt="" width="999" height="655"></p> <h3>Who is in your team?</h3> <p>My co-founder James Cullen and I started Givvit, and we were joined last summer by our operations manager Diane Fawkes and creative director Dan Corbett. </p> <p>Our tech partner Shaping Cloud has a team who make the whizzy tech magic happen; Carlos, James W, Anita, Cliff, Dave, John, Nick and Tom.</p> <h3>Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?</h3> <p>One year: To be a fully established, recognised app in the UK market with a bigger range of retailers on and an active and engaged user base.</p> <p>Three years: To be booming in the UK and have launched in the US and Europe.</p> <p>Five years: To be in as many countries across the world as possible. Helping friends and family treat each other every day and enabling all manner of corporate and brand rewards and loyalty treating. </p> <h3>Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?</h3> <p>I am a music buff first and foremost and absolutely love Spotify and it basically soundtracks my life. </p> <p>App-wise it has to be Instagram (obvious choice I know) and YPlan, and the best tool we use is Dropbox as it makes working disparately very easy.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65933 2015-01-06T09:36:22+00:00 2015-01-06T09:36:22+00:00 Retailer-owned social networks: Can they work? David Moth <p>After all, if you’re going to take the time to establish a profile on Grazia’s social network then you’re obviously a fan of the brand.</p> <p>But the company that built the network also needs to attract enough people to make it worthwhile for their users and the business.</p> <p>This is an extremely difficult task as most people have already invested time and effort in building up their profiles on more established social networks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7808/Screen_Shot_2015-01-05_at_17.34.41.png" alt="" width="1283" height="634"></p> <p>So how are you going to convince them to start afresh on this new niche social network, that solely focuses on one topic area and that none of their friends uses?</p> <p>It helps if you have an established brand name but even then it’s going to be very hard to get people to sign up and come back on a regular basis.</p> <p>These issues obviously haven’t deterred Net-A-Porter, Grazia or Made.com, with each launching a standalone social network tied to their product offering.</p> <p>Here’s a quick look at each one...</p> <h3>Net-A-Porter’s Netbook</h3> <p>The Netbook is an invite-only iOS app based on the ‘Live’ feature that sits on Net-A-Porter's homepage and acts like a carousel ticking through the latest products that customers have purchased.</p> <p>The app is an attempt to give customers an online identity on Net-A-Porter which then creates an additional social layer to the site and makes the recommendations more powerful.</p> <p>I <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63414-net-a-porter-bets-on-social-commerce-with-new-netbook-ipad-app/">reviewed The Netbook</a> when it first launched in September 2013 and as I haven’t used it since I can no longer remember my login details or, more importantly, where the iPad is.</p> <p>I’ll therefore have to rely on the details from my previous article and hope that not too much has changed in the intervening 15 months.</p> <p>The main features in The Netbook are the Global Feed and the Admiring Feed, which show a real time list of the Net-A-Porter products that people are ‘loving’ within the app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7806/homepage.PNG" alt="" width="250">    <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7807/global_feed_1.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>While the first tab is an unfiltered feed of everything that’s going on around the world, the Admiring Feed only shows activity from people you’ve chosen to follow.</p> <p>Users can also buy products that take their fancy, though the checkout is hosted in a web browser rather than within the app.</p> <p>Net-A-Porter timed the launch to coincide with London Fashion Week so it could invite loads of bloggers, stylists and designers to be its early adopters.</p> <p>This had the potential to create an exclusive community that would make the app more appealing to other users.</p> <p>I can’t tell you whether it worked or not, but I am surprised that the app is sill invite-only (according to the App Store).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7802/netbook_invite-only.png" alt="" width="662" height="64"></p> <p>Another potential barrier to adoption is the lack of integration with other social networks. </p> <p>The Netbook doesn’t have any social sharing buttons, so users are unable to share items with their existing communities.</p> <p>I can see the logic behind this (maybe Net-A-Porter wants to keep all the sharing action in-house), but it does seem to be missing an opportunity for generating greater exposure.</p> <h3>Grazia’s Fashion Stories</h3> <p>As mentioned, Grazia launched its <a href="http://stories.graziashop.com/user/fashionstories">Fashion Stories network</a> as part of its new ecommerce shop in 2014.</p> <p>It sits in the top nav of the website and is described as “the perfect place to house your fashion inspirations and create shoppable moodboards.”</p> <p>During the signup process users have to select five stories that personalise their magazine (each is tied to a Grazia product).</p> <p>The site then suggests a list of people they might like to follow based on their preferences.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7803/Screen_Shot_2015-01-05_at_15.23.38.png" alt="" width="1293" height="950"></p> <p>The idea is that users then create ‘stories’ and share posts that have been published by other users. These are all ‘clipped’ onto the user’s profile page to create their own personal Grazia magazine.</p> <p>The stories appear in three different tabs, helpfully named ‘latest’, ‘Grazia picks’ and ‘Following’.</p> <p>It’s slightly misleading to call the posts ‘stories’ as each one is essentially two lines of text followed by a big picture of a celebrity, then further images of products available on Graziashop to recreate the look.</p> <p>That aside, the stories are transactional so users can purchase items that have been uploaded from the Graziashop (users can also upload images from Instagram, Facebook, or their computer).</p> <p>Even the story feeds are shoppable, so users can click through to product pages without even reading the entire story.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7805/Screen_Shot_2015-01-05_at_15.58.04.png" alt="" width="1286" height="689"></p> <p>Finally, unlike The Netbook, Fashion Stories is integrated with all the major social networks so users can share their profile far and wide.</p> <h3>Made.com’s Unboxed</h3> <p>Made.com’s is a pureplay online retailer that sells low cost designer furniture. Ex-Econsultancy blogger Ben Davis has previosuly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65298-what-i-love-about-made-com-1-600-words-and-24-pictures/">written about his love for the brand</a>.</p> <p>The lack of any showrooms is both a blessing and a curse – the furniture can be sold a lower price, but customers aren’t able to see and touch it before they buy.</p> <p>To try and overcome this barrier Made created <a href="https://www.made.com/unboxed/#*/*/7/talked">Unboxed</a>, a social network that enables users to upload and share photos of the retailer’s products on show in their own homes.</p> <p>Each Made product page features a carousel called ‘Our customer’s homes’ which shows the different items and links to the network hub page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7800/made.com_carousel.png" alt="" width="1084" height="376"></p> <p>Here you can have a nose around other people’s homes, get inspiration for your own interior design project, and even get in touch with the owners to ask about the product they bought.</p> <p>Apparently some people will even allow you to come round and view the product in their home.</p> <p>As it’s all user generated content the photos vary in quality, but the good thing is that by clicking on the product itself you are given access to all the images that have been uploaded of that item.</p> <p>This is a useful feature for Made’s customers as they can see the product from different angles and in a variety of settings, rather than just the glossy imagery on the ecommerce store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7801/made.com_product_page.png" alt="" width="1347" height="1152"></p> <p>Personally I can’t fathom why anyone would want to upload an image of their new sofa to Made Unboxed, but then I suppose it’s not that much different from sharing a picture on Instagram or Facebook.</p> <p>And it might be that Made.com incentivises it in some way when the products are delivered.</p> <p>I did also notice that a few interior designers were using the site to sneakily advertise their professional services.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>It’s impossible to gauge whether or not these social networks have been a success without access to the user numbers and sales data.</p> <p>However it’s worth noting a few differences and similarities between them all.</p> <p>Firstly, each of these brands is a pureplay online retailer so there’s perhaps a greater emphasis on digital content to build brand trust and assist with conversions.</p> <p>In a way these networks help to build a relationship with customers that might otherwise develop while they are browsing a brick-and-mortar store.</p> <p>Furthermore, The Netbook is fundamentally different from Unboxed and Fashion Stories, as the former is a standalone app while the others are bolted onto the ecommerce store.</p> <p>Having the network as just another tab on the website makes it easier to signup new users and drive traffic from other digital channels.</p> <p>Users can easily head over to Unboxed while browsing Made’s ecommerce store, but having to fire up an iPad app is a major barrier to entry.</p> <p>Admittedly each one fulfils a slightly different purpose, but even so it seems more natural to have the social network as part of the existing site rather than as it’s own product. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65914 2014-12-18T10:22:54+00:00 2014-12-18T10:22:54+00:00 The best mobile campaigns from 2014: the expert view David Moth <p>Now, on with the expert opinions...</p> <h3>Which company do you think has done great things in mobile this year? </h3> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, group mobile manager at The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>It’s incredibly hard not to pick Uber. The UX is exceptional and it works simply and efficiently in almost every country I visit.</p> <p>The in-app marketing campaigns, incentive scheme and use of brand ambassadors are very compelling and will get anyone hooked.</p> <p>However, Apple still leads the pack when it comes to mobile. The continuity features, like Handoff, in iOS 8 mean I can write an email on my iPhone on my way to work, finish it on my Mac and send it from my iPad. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7648/sarah_watson-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>The lines between devices are blurring across the board but the transition within the Apple ecosystem has been notably easy and seamless, and soon my watch will be joining the club too. </p> <p>It also brings many new innovations to streamline the user experience and create new opportunities for brands, in particular with “extensions”.  </p> <p>We’re already seeing great extensions like View Source, which allows developers to pull up the source code for any website they’re viewing or LastPass, which enables one-click password input on websites. </p> <p>It’s just a matter of time before retailers begin experimenting with extensions and I’m really excited to see what they come up with.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, COO and co-founder at Somo</strong></p> <p>Facebook. It's continued to transform the mobile media landscape, shifting from a publisher to a true ad tech company with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65514-facebook-atlas-what-you-need-to-know/">Atlas cross-device launch</a> and has helped the ecosystem with its mobile development tools. </p> <p>Not to mention the Oculus and WhatsApp acquisitions and Instagram overtaking Twitter in audience size.</p> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, mobile product lead at Just Eat</strong></p> <p>Uber, just by being focused on creating a transformative mobile product/service that - for the most part - just works. </p> <p>I'm still trying to work out if Foursquare deserves a booby prize for splitting its app into two parts for discovery &amp; checking in - Foursquare &amp; Swarm. </p> <p>It's a bold move and I'd love to see some real stats, but everyone I know who was used to the old, bundled Foursquare hates the split.</p> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, General Manager EMEA at xAd</strong></p> <p>This is so broad – but I love companies that can disrupt and if you look to China there is amazing example of a company less than three years old called Xiaomi, which has reinvented the smartphone market in the largest smartphone market in the world.</p> <p>In 2013 it sold over 18m devices and its revenue was $5.2bn. Today, it’s the third largest smartphone maker in the world. </p> <p>It’s achieved this by not only having incredibly clever marketing, but by building few products, all of exceptional quality and at low price points. </p> <p>The company has made a conscious decision to focus on future revenue through software and services.</p> <h3>Which campaign that you’ve been involved in were you most proud of this year?</h3> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>It has to be the launch of our first global print publication, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64295-net-a-porter-s-new-shoppable-magazine-is-it-any-good/">Porter</a>.</p> <p>This really was a magazine launch like no other. In February our first issue hit stands around the world and simultaneously became available on iPad. </p> <p>However, unlike other fashion magazines, it was unique in its conception as a physical/digital offering from the start.</p> <p>Every printed page, whether editorial or advertorial, can be scanned with a mobile device via the Net-A-Porter app and shopped from, even if we don’t stock the products. </p> <p>And unlike other magazines, our iPad edition wasn’t just a print copy turned digital. We re-thought the digital magazine and made it intuitive, creating new formats that ensured ease of use and shopping.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, Somo</strong></p> <p>The connected world experience we created for Audi at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. </p> <p>Using the latest tech including Oculus Rift and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63292-what-we-learned-from-trying-google-glass/">Google Glass</a>, we delivered a truly interactive, immersive experience for thousands of car lovers at the annual event.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ZZXKVRYa3E?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, Just Eat</strong></p> <p>We’ve been making numerous iterative improvements all year so our apps have been evolving solidly. </p> <p>Adding an in-menu food search was one of my favourite new features, with the added bonus of emoji search.</p> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, xAd</strong></p> <p>We actually ran some trials in Q3 to measure store visitations as a result of a consumer seeing an advert on their mobile and to answer the question, ‘can mobile advertising really drive action into a store?’ </p> <p>Mobile has been held back as a marketing channel as previously trying to measure these types of actions has been very difficult. </p> <p>We were proud to work with ASDA and Starbucks with some really encouraging results. </p> <p>ASDA for example was able to show a 67% incremental lift of foot traffic into store after consumer exposure to one of its mobile ad campaigns for ‘Home’ or ‘Back to School’.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65911 2014-12-17T11:31:00+00:00 2014-12-17T11:31:00+00:00 Mobile marketing & commerce trends from 2014 & into 2015 David Moth <p>As we’re reaching the end of 2014 it’s a good time to look back on the past 12 months and discuss which were the most important mobile trends.</p> <p>And while we’re at it I’ve also asked these experts to predict what we can expect to see from mobile in 2015.</p> <p>Here’s what they had to say...</p> <h3>What do you think was the most interesting mobile trend in 2014?</h3> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, group mobile manager at The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>In 2014 mobile changed beyond recognition, again. </p> <p>The devices improved. They're now more powerful, waterproof in some cases and often much bigger, giving companies a lot more flexibility in the way they communicate with their consumers on the screen.</p> <p>However, surprisingly the biggest change in mobile in 2014 hasn't been the new devices available or their capabilities. The most significant change, in my view, is the advances in the ecosystem supporting and interacting with mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7603/sarah_watson-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>Most importantly we’ve seen mobile payments via <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/tags/nfc">NFC</a> or Apple Pay become a reality, changing the function of mobile devices forever. </p> <p>Combine this with the wealth of data mobile devices yield and brands suddenly have an amazing new way to incentivise their customers and streamline the path to purchase. </p> <p>Feeding into this phenomenon has been the use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64626-five-examples-of-how-marketers-are-using-ibeacons/">iBeacons</a> which haven’t yet been pushed to their limit. </p> <p>From an online retailer’s perspective, iBeacons give you another way to link the physical world to the digital, creating more opportunities for companies to connect with their customers.</p> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, mobile product lead at Just Eat</strong></p> <p>Perhaps it was not seeing an article every other day saying 'mobile has finally arrived'. This could be the true litmus test that mobile has, actually, finally arrived.</p> <p>Aside from that, the increased visibility, often via advertising, of voice control of mobile and home based devices was really interesting. </p> <p>It's a brave frontier of user interface that people have been trying to break through for many years. </p> <p>Now all the big players are lined up to show their voice control is best, it's a good thing for all mobile device users.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, COO and co-founder at Somo</strong></p> <p>The shift from mobile as a destination, to a remote control for the world around us.</p> <p>The connection of the physical and digital and using the mobile device to interact more deeply with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64211-the-internet-of-things-five-new-products-changing-the-market-now/">traditionally 'dumb' objects</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7605/nest-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="247"></p> <p>Also, the ability to now target specific audiences on mobile, both through social and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">programmatic buying platforms</a>.</p> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, general manager EMEA at xAd </strong></p> <p>I think we are seeing brands and marketers taking a mobile first approach to their marketing. </p> <p>I feel that companies now realise that mobile is a driving force in search and decision, they understand its importance, and are learning how and when to reach the mobile consumer. </p> <p>Perhaps the most interesting element is that mobile is not seen just seen as an extension of desktop, brands are now integrating mobile with more traditional media outlets.</p> <h3>What do you think will be the most important mobile trends in 2015?</h3> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, Just Eat</strong></p> <p>We'll see more and more companies emerge that use the transformative nature of mobile on mundane, day to day activities - coupling mobile with great operational execution.</p> <p>The landscape changed so quickly in 2014, expect more and faster evolution in 2015.</p> <p>And although wearables didn't go large in 2014, as Apple finally launches its watch in 2015 I'd expect rapid adoption, likely followed by slight disappointment.</p> <p>Then come 2016 expect a v2.0 Apple Watch that blows us all away... maybe with 100% accurate voice recognition.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7606/apple_watch-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>2015 will be the year of seamless connectivity. Over the past couple of years a wireless infrastructure has been created, enabling devices to be connected all the time. </p> <p>We’re now at a point where the consumer experiences begin on the go and truly can be continued on any other device. </p> <p>The key here is ensuring experiences are translated, not transposed, across platforms so that consumers always have the best possible experience.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, Somo</strong></p> <p>In no particular order:</p> <ul> <li>Mobile payment adoption.</li> <li>TV/video  - consumption shifting from the actual TV to watching on mobile devices and the impact this will have on advertisers. </li> <li>Location/beacons/Bluetooth.</li> <li>Programmatic audience buying on mobile.</li> <li>Cross-device and multichannel attribution.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, xAd </strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers">Click and collect</a> being adopted by more and more brands and mobile payment systems.</p> <p>Mobile video will really be ramping up given increasing network speeds and brands looking to take advantage of ever-sharper, even bigger screens.</p> <p>Wearable tech is an obvious one given the impending launch of Apple’s iWatch but one interesting example being developed at the moment is the process of allowing temporary tattoos to perform an assortment of different functions like transform your body’s sweat into useable power for other tech devices, such as a smartphone, smartwatch or fitness tracker.</p>