The reality is palpable: mobile devices are, at present, an essential tool for many people who use them for work, play, shop, sales and to stay connected. It is the technology that together with the web, has most radically changed the way we live.
An SAP study on consumer behavior among mobile users found that 63 percent use their computers to manage their lifestyles, while 46 percent access the Internet daily from a smartphone, and the increasing use of these small devices to do tasks beyond making calls or sending text messages grew 62 percent.
What are the main uses given to smartphones and tablets? Reading newspapers and magazines, playing games, watching videos, studying, surfing the Web, managing correspondence, seek information and, two major trends that are becoming more frequent in Latin America: make purchases and make payments.
Worldwide, 27 percent of mobile users purchase products or services with their device. But the most important fact is that 80 percent say they want to buy more that way. There are still some barriers to the final explosion, it is true, but this trend is unstoppable. Therefore, marketers and business of all companies should be working on strategies to understand and meet this new generation of consumers.
We are dealing with a more informed customer who knows what they want and also has the option to change a company by simply moving a finger. It also requires immediacy and customer service excellence. In the current SAP study, 80 percent of respondents said they agree with the idea of organizations using more technology to make life easier for their customers, while more than 50 percent said they would change providers if they found another one that offers them a better interaction with their mobile phone.
One segment that has gone through this transformation is banks. The traditional model disappears and the sector entities are threatened continuously by non-financial companies that are competing with applications for payments, loans at different levels or credit cards. In this scenario, the sector institutions are forced to appeal to mobility for “being there” where the client needs, bringing you their products, services and added value as possible… before someone else does. We are already seeing this in Puerto Rico.
Other segments, such as mass consumption or certain service areas, are behaving as true pioneers in this to understand the needs of consumers in the digital age and are already taking concrete steps to captivate this new generation.
We mentioned that mobility tends to modify various aspects of life. In this account, you cannot miss the concept of BYOD (acronym for “bring your own device”), where companies then face a double challenge: meet that demand to retain their talent, and integrate those devices within the corporate infrastructure to ensure data protection.
In conclusion, consumers are redesigning, from their mobile devices, ways of doing business. With so much mobility, there would be no greater mistake than to sit still.
Author Galo Sandoval is vice president of SAP Caribbean