Changing mobile habits open up opportunities for savvy marketers

It’s no secret that the number of people who access the Internet through smartphones is rapidly increasing as mobile Internet becomes faster and more affordable. The resulting shift away from PCs, towards mobile devices is now beginning to have a big effect on people’s online habits. Adfonic’s Paul Childs recent opinion piece in NMA highlight’s that many advertisers are missing opportunities resulting from this shift.

Historically traffic trends by hour have peaked at lunchtime and tailed off throughout the afternoon as people tended to surf during lunchtimes then gradually get back to work.

In contrast to PC web access, analytics data shows mobile traffic increasing from 6pm onwards, with people accessing the Internet on their commute home. Mobile traffic continues throughout the evening as people surf in-front of the TV or in the pub, peaking around midnight (suggesting surfing is preferred to more traditional bedtime activities, such as reading).

As mobile traffic peak periods occur at traditionally dead times for online advertising there is clearly a big opportunity here for advertisers to target prospects and customers. With the UK seeing the fastest growth in subscribers to smartphones in Europe and expected to be leading the world in the adoption of the high-speed mobile Internet technology, this opportunity to target customers via mobile marketing is only set to increase.

M-commerce is ready to go mainstream and the importance of having a mobile specific retail site has been echoed by recent launches of major mobile sites for retailers M & S, JL and Amazon. Surprisingly, out of 50 of the UKs top eCommerce sites, only around 30% have dedicated mobile websites. Although some of the remaining 70% may have mobile apps it does highlight how larger retailers have been relatively slow to implement mobile strategies. In turn, however, it is a great opportunity for smaller, savvy retail brands to gain a competitive advantage over their larger counterparts.

If 2010 was the year mobile finally took off, 2011 will see it accelerate to mainstream adoption. Brands of all sizes need to be prepared to take advantage.

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