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MediaPost Analyst Checks Off Mobile Trends for 2013

31 Oct, 2012 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – To better understand the power of mobile, you only have to look at the travel industry. Mark Simpson, president of Maxymiser, a global conversion-rate optimization company in New York, says in MediaPost that before we ring in 2013, 36 million Americans will have used a smartphone to research travel. And eMarketer says that by 2016, the number of people who will actually book travel by smartphone will jump from 15.8 million to 36.3 million annually.

“In 2013, we’ll see the travel industry leaders continue to expand their digital and mobile footprint,” Simpson says. “After all, if they want to claim their share of the 36.3 million customers booking by smartphone, they will have to.”

In his analysis, Simpson shares the following mobile trends to watch for next year and to consider planning for as well:

  1. Mobile site testing and optimization. In his MediaPost piece, Simpson says testing lets you devise a strategy for adapting and personalizing the mobile experience for each visitor, for integrating with other digital properties, and for connecting the mobile experience with the offline one – all while measuring the impact of your initiatives on engagement, revenue and customer loyalty. And now that many brands have a mobile site or app in place, they are beginning to test its content’s performance for their audience. A/B and multivariate testing are now designed to perform specifically for mobile sites.
  2. Personalization of mobile content. As mobile-rich sites and apps increasingly serve travelers better, faster and in new, creative ways, consumers are more frequently willing to give brands access to their information, such as sharing their locations, check-ins, demographics, pictures and activities. It also means that consumers are coming to expect an enhanced, personalized mobile experience, and the brands that keep pace with this changing landscape will dominate the market.
  3. Optimizing for tablets. Simpson contends says that E-commerce marketers tend to group tablets and smartphones into the same mobile category. But the reality is, the typical browsing and buying habits of a smartphone user are quite distinct from an average tablet user. In fact, a recent study from Econsultancy cited that the average order values via tablet commerce were at least 1.5 times higher than those of smartphones. Just as a traditional website does not work on a mobile screen, a mobile site is not necessarily right for a tablet experience. Expect to see different strategies developed for this in-between device as the leaders recognize its opportunities.
  4. Using mobile to extend personalized experiences across channels. The personalized content consumers get on their smartphones should work with anything they find online or in other marketing channels. Mobile may be new, flashy and exciting, but you never want customers to feel that the mobile experience is somehow disconnected from their other experiences of your brand – or worse, to get the feeling that they are interacting with a different brand altogether. Not only should your content and branding remain consistent, but also the information customers receive across the mediums should reflect their real-time location in the booking journey.

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