By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
According to a new Deloitte survey on mobile consumer trends, nearly 90 percent of U.S. consumers check their phone in the first hour of being awake and 23 percent look at their device up to 50 times a day. Craig Wigginton, vice chairman and U.S. Telecommunications leader, Deloitte LLP, helped us to understand these and other findings and their significance.
Why are in-store mobile payment (mPayments) technologies currently underutilized ? What’s the prognosis there?
According to an upcoming Deloitte report, 2015 could be an inflection point for NFC-enabled in-store payment. There are multiple factors driving this, including increased consumer awareness, wider availability of NFC technology, and multiple prerequisites being satisfied to allow broad adoption by financial institutions, merchants and carriers. Historically, I’d characterize mPayments fans as a small but dedicated group of consumers. According to the 2014 U.S. edition of Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, most consumers – at the time the survey was fielded – did not have (or did not know whether they had) phones with NFC capabilities. Interestingly, though, those who did have NFC show a high percentage of regular use. Additionally, our survey demonstrated a healthy interest in mPayments overall – those who are interested in mobile payments would like to use them for a wide range of purchasing experiences, from parking meters to buying gasoline to in-store purchasing. Given recent announcements, consumer adoption of in-store payment technologies could be transformed by next year’s survey.
What’s the relationship between United States consumers and their electronic devices? What are some of the numbers?
In a word, consumers are obsessed with their mobile devices. The U.S. edition of Deloitte’s 2014 Global Mobile Consumer Survey asked consumers how soon after waking up they check their smartphone (excluding the device’s alarm clock). Nearly 40 percent look at their phone within a mere five minutes of waking up. Nearly 75 percent check their device within 30 minutes and almost 90 percent of consumers report waiting no more than an hour to look at their smartphone. For the youngest demographic in the survey (18-24), almost 95 percent check their phones within an hour of waking, but the oldest demographic (65-75) reported strong numbers as well, with 78 percent looking at their smartphone within an hour.
The survey also asked consumers how many times they will look at their smartphone in a given day. The results again support our national obsession. Nearly 10 percent of consumers look at their smartphone more than 100 times a day, nearly a quarter check more than 50 times a day, and almost half look at their phone more than 25 times a day. Three percent of consumers report looking at their smartphone more than 200 times a day. Mobile is clearly a critical part of consumers’ daily lives.
What are some of the growth opportunities for mobile players?
A promising recent development, which we expect will accelerate in 2015, is the movement of nascent markets toward the consumer and enterprise mainstream – with Internet of Things (IoT) leading the way. Many businesses have the potential to derive high value from IoT – by one count it is estimated to generate nearly $15 trillion in economic value in areas such as efficiency, productivity, cost reduction and increased customer base. The news is good on the consumer side as well; although IoT is relatively new to most consumers, 55 percent of U.S. respondents from Deloitte’s 2014 Global Mobile Consumer Survey already are interested in connected-home technology – and for smartphone owners, that percentage is even higher. Survey responses also showed consumer enthusiasm for connected-car solutions. Another key trend is the growth of audio and video streaming among smartphone users, with most consumers now using more than a gigabyte of data per month. The 2014 Global Mobile Consumer Survey showed a 19 percent increase among U.S. consumers streaming television or film over the past year, and there was an impressive 30 percent year-over-year growth in streaming music. Even more compelling was that the number of consumers who indicated they streamed media has nearly doubled since last year.
What’s the future look like?
There are a number of exciting growth opportunities in the expanding mobile ecosystem. First, on the consumer side, wearables – glasses, exercise bands, smartwatches and the like – will be an interesting market to track. We expect to see continued growth in wearables over time, particularly those with the right features and functionality for consumers, and those that tie to opportunities in vertical markets. Second, as the reach of IoT and verticals increases, the need for new cybersecurity and privacy solutions offer major new revenue opportunities. Moreover, the availability to gather and analyze rich customer data will offer telecom players the ability to meet consumer needs in innovative new ways. Finally, there is major opportunity for mobile in vertical markets. First out of the gate is automotive, with a variety of additional connected-car solutions being introduced in 2015. mHealth may also get a boost as major device manufacturers refocus on its revenue-generating potential. “Smart” cities are on the rise. In summary, every part of the ecosystem shows powerful potential for continued core growth as well as opportunities for expansion – and businesses and consumers both will ultimately benefit.