Companies can gain huge amounts of money – and customers – by improving their internet accessibility, says Chanaka Jayawardhena, professor at the University of Hull. He points to the new possibilities that smart phones and tablets offer, the decreasing customer loyalty and the concept of “mobile economic time”.
38 days of mobile time per year on offer
The main idea behind the “mobile economic time” is the fact that many customers use their smart phones or tablets while waiting for a train or plane, while commuting or while simply being bored. Professor Jayawardhena claims the average person has 38 days per year of MET, offering huge windows of opportunity to companies who can break into this Time.
“Still, many companies do not offer applications that are interesting enough to retain these customers. A dangerous situation, because consumers quickly lose interest in a brand if their mobile experience is not completely satisfying”, says Dirk Janssen, director of software company CA Technologies Belgium. “On the other hand, companies who succeed in tailoring their mobile services perfectly to the customers’ wishes, can earn huge profits.”
How to seduce 7.7 million Britons (and 5 million Belgians)
Janssen uses the example of last year’s Christmas shopping. “7.7 million British shoppers wanted to buy their gifts last-minute and via their smart phones, but only a limited number of stores already had a web shop fit for m-commerce.” Belgian supermarkets are doing even worse: while creating mobile shopping lists is possible in most cases, paying online is nearly non-existent and delivery of ordered goods is usually limited to a physical supermarket of that chain.
”Any company who can successfully innovate in this area now, is certain to attract a large number of loyal customers, enter new markets and generate a huge profit”, says Janssen. “By 2013, one in two Belgians will have a smart phone. According to our predictions, they will only use perfectly tailored applications during their Mobile Economic Time, which means they look for a good service, stable technologies and safe information exchange.”
Companies benefit from new opportunities
“Companies that are ignorant about this Mobile Economic Time leave a whole field of opportunities unused – while these 38 days (more than 10% of one year!) should be a huge incentive to invest in better mobile services. If they succeed in doing so, they might really be able to bind consumers to them and influence their buying behaviour.”, says professor Jayawardhena.
One of the best examples of successful adoption of this ‘Mobile Economic Time’ for retail purposes was invented by Tesco South-Korea. We have posted this video before, but it remains a personal favourite – and a brilliant example of the concept of MET.