San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
There are quite a few surprising findings from our recent quarterly TraQline study of both prepaid and postpaid (contract) wireless phones.
The most surprising thing isn’t that prepaid handset purchases now represent 17 percent of the market. And, no, it isn’t even that Android OS has significantly higher market share than iOS (and both are still gaining share). What we found to be most significant is that smartphones now represent more than 50 percent of phone purchases — that started in 2011. But it’s not just limited to contract phones. We’re seeing prepaid smartphones start to come of age too — 28 percent of all prepaid phones are now smartphones.
No one can argue about the pressure on retailers to compete with online only e-tailers, but we’re really talking about consumers who are better informed. While they are paying more for these devices — 25 percent on average — when they use them for mobile commerce the cost is easily offset.
Price notwithstanding, consumers are reveling in the technology. While we may not all need a “virtual stapler” app, surveys suggest that more than 40 percent of smartphone owners use their phones somehow to aid in shopping (some suggest figures as high as 66 percent). The impact on commerce requires the industry to keep up in a big way:
Every retailer and every brand should be able to answer the question: What’s my mobile strategy? If you hesitate on this point, you risk being left in the dust. Savvy retailers not only have a mobile strategy, they are actively evolving their marketing outreach efforts to adapt to shifting consumer demand. Where does your organization fit into the mobile puzzle?
Eric Voyer is sales and marketing VP for Louisville, Ky.-based The Stevenson Company. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (502) 271-5267.