Good data from IHL Group about trends in the mobile space.

Posted on November 16, 2010

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(Center for Media Research) According to a new study from IHL Group, reported by Marketing Charts, eight in 10 US mobile phone users currently uses or will use mobile text coupons within 24 months. The other two retail-related consumer mobile activities currently used by more than 20% of mobile phone subscribers are regular barcode and 2D barcode. Coupons on mobile screen only have 16% current engagement, but 38% planned engagement within the next 12 months, second only to text coupons in this category.

Consumer Mobile Engagement Methods (% of Respondents)
Use and Plan to Use
Engagement Method Already Use Next 12 Months 12-24 Months
Coupons 16% 38% 16%
Text coupons 25 47 9
Regular bar code 22 22 22
2D bar code 21 23 17
RFID for payment 2 9 17
Consumer self checkout 9 9 9
Competitive pricing 7 18 7
Source: IHL Group, November 2010

The study data indicates 85% of US retailers support consumer use of the iPhone/iPod platform, and 88% plan to do so in the future. This current support rate dwarfs the 55% support of the next-most-popular consumer mobile platform among retailers, the iPad platform. However, 72% of retailers plan to support consumer iPad use in the future.

While only 50% of retailers currently support consumer use of the Android platform, 79% plan to support it in the future. Windows Mobile has 43% current support and 53% planned support, while Blackberry has slightly lower current support (40%) but slightly higher future support (58%).

Consumer Mobile Platform Support (% of Respondents)
Platform Current Use Future Use
iPhone/iPod 85% 88%
iPad 55 72
Android 50 79
Blackberry 40 58
Windows mobile 43 53
Windows CE/7 23 36
Source: IHL Group, November 2010

Retailers display different preferences for supporting mobile platform use by their employees, and at much lower percentages. The iPhone/iPod and Windows Mobile platforms are tied for second place with 42% current support. However, 67% of retailers plan future iPhone/iPod support, while only 41% plan future Windows Mobile support, implying a small number of retailers currently supporting employee use of Windows Mobile devices plan to end it. Android only has 26% current support, but comparatively high 41% planned future support.

Perhaps explaining the popularity of text coupons, 94% of mobile phone owners have text included in their phone plan. This makes texting by far the most popular feature of US consumer mobile phone plans. Other popular features include email (80%) and mobile web (78%).

The data for this study were obtained by performing a web-based survey during the August-September 2010 timeframe. A total of 570 responses were used, of which 66 were retailers.

For the study from the IHL group, please access the PDF file here.

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