According to marketers, consumers are ever-practical creatures. Give them a mobile device and they’ll spend every free minute filling virtual shopping carts or booking their next vacation. The industry assumption is that mobile is an on-the-go channel and that what consumers want most during their transit time is utility.
As a result, brand owners have been busy answering the mobile opportunity by finding new ways to be useful to consumers. Nike offers the Nike+ Running App to track fitness progress. Starbucks provides a mobile payment service, turning the phone into a wallet. Amex helps to manage receipts using photos taken by a mobile phone.
Yet mobile time is not quite as goal-oriented or even as mobile as marketers might expect. While mobile devices are constant companions throughout the day, supplementing PCs, comScore research shows that consumers are waking up with their smartphones and spending the evening with their tablets—both at-home activities.
Moreover, according to InsightsNow, while many mobile activities might appear purposeful they are actually all fulfilling the same need: giving the consumer some much-needed “me time.”
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