• January 25, 2016

5 Reasons You Really Can’t Ignore the Mobile Revolution

By Chris Moyer, Vice President—Mobility and Workplace Practice, Enterprise Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

We’ve passed the tipping point. The consumer usage of mobile devices has reached a level we can’t ignore. The mobile revolution is here. According to Gartner, there were 5 billion connected devices by the end of 2015—that number will swell to 25 billion by 2020. That’s more than three devices per person on Earth.

Ignore It At Your Peril

There’s more. According to the analytics company ComScore, the number of mobile-only internet users surpassed PC-only internet users for the first time in March 2015. Google reports that the number of internet searches on mobile devices surpassed those on computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.

You can’t ignore mobile. Your competitive position and differentiation in the marketplace depend upon embracing it. Enterprises that fail to develop and implement mobile strategies will lose customers, and winning those customers back will be very expensive.

We’re at a crossroads, a point where everyone has to have an answer: Will you seize the moment and grow or slowly slip behind your competition? Here are five reasons you can’t ignore the mobile revolution.

1. There’s No Going Back

Consumer internet use has crossed a key threshold. The average user picks up a smartphone more than 1,500 times per week. They engage with their devices for three hours and 16 minutes each and every day. Their attention is driven to the screen. It’s almost second nature. In old web-speak we worried about tracking eyeballs. Those eyeballs have now moved off the computer screen and onto the smartphone and tablet screen. Optimization is now for mobile first.

Why? Mobile devices provide a richer exchange, anytime, anywhere. That richness means savvy enterprises can create a more compelling experience while users—customers and employees—are on the move. Mobile use is now mainstream. So you need a strategy that reflects that.

2. Customers Expect Personalized Experiences

Mobile creates a sense of intimacy. It also yields a trove of valuable information. Retailers want to understand our buying patterns: how we browse, at what point we’re most likely to buy, and how we engage in the transaction process. Consumers in turn expect transaction experiences that are seamless and secure as well as informed recommendations and instant feedback. One of the ways the enterprise can do this is by paying attention and responding to social media exchanges, comments, and ratings. This not only retains customers but also prompts others to take notice. For example, airline passengers prize hassle-free travel experiences.

They want to know if there are going to be delays. If an airline can predict flight changes, it can generate suggested options in real time to ensure passengers get to their destinations. Mobile strategies with an end-to-end view empower airlines to guide passengers through their journey, making it as simple and frictionless as possible.And that drives loyalty. Financial institutions use mobile to drive push notifications and alert their customers to unexpected and irregular activity. For example, banks inform customers when new automatic payments are set up, if preset purchase limits are exceeded, or when unusual purchase patterns are detected.

To leverage the mobile experience, companies are extending their brand by developing mobile apps to solicit feedback, dispense information, and send out special offers. This creates an opportunity to capture and keep customers. But accuracy is a crucial element in this app culture. If a user has a bad experience due to errors, their use of the app will quickly fade. Testing must be incredibly thorough. You can’t afford to have any unpredictable performance issues. Creating and maintaining rich customer experiences keeps your brand and products on their favorites list.

3. Retain and Attract More Customers

It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Yet, roughly 44 percent of companies put a greater focus on customer acquisition. That compares to just 18 percent with a primary focus on retention. Existing customers are 50 percent more likely to try new products and spend 31 percent more compared to new customers. Mobile helps you understand your customers and their behavior better.

With greater understanding, you have greater insight and can transact with customers anywhere. Add analytics and you can spot quicker both leading and lagging indicators suggesting a client is starting to wander away. With mobility and analytics, early warnings signs are immediate and far more vivid than indicators from traditional monthly or weekly reports. Plus, you get an expanded window of opportunity to take action before that customer exits, potentially eliminating the high costs of reacquisition.

4. Leveraging Location Leads to Sales

Location-based services drive higher levels of customer attention. They help build stronger relationships and revenue streams by leveraging venue-based location and analytics data. Location-aware services enable you to engage with customers by pushing content relevant to their physical location and preferences. These modern services improve competitiveness by equipping the enterprise with a unique communication advantage. Yet given near-ubiquitous smartphone usage, enterprises have been slow to adopt location-based mobile strategies.An airline might use these services to determine the location of a passenger in relation to a departing flight and redirect them to the proper gate.

These insights can help an airline effectively determine whether to hold a departing flight for a group of passengers or a frequent flyer loyalty member. Aruba Location Services from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, deploys low-energy Bluetooth beacons in buildings and in event venues to determine precise locations of attendees. A Meridian-powered mobile app provides turn-by-turn directions to products, services, and other amenities. Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco uses the system to help fans find restrooms, trigger concessions orders, and have orders conveniently delivered to them at their seats.

5. Mobile Improves the Work Environment

Today, enterprise employees are expected to know more about customers and the people they deal with. Mobile strategies help drive this engagement by putting the relevant information at their fingertips, enabling better decision-making. They also help employees stay engaged with the enterprise by providing access to complex information on the go. Today, the workplace is anywhere. Information is available at any time.Yet the true value of mobile is improving the accuracy and speed of business processes. Connected wearable devices provide rich sources of information employees need to take with them. For example, aircraft mechanics can use these devices to inspect and analyze aircraft systems and check part availability. In industries where hands-free flexibility is important, these devices provide user interaction through voice recognition and heads-up displays.

Mobile: A Tool to Thrive

With a forward-looking mobile strategy, the enterprise can thrive in this consumer-empowered world. It enables you to put personalized information into the hands of customers at the optimum moment of influence. Mobile strategies that incorporate location-based technologies drive cost savings, optimized resourcing, superior customer experiences, and increased revenues. And that’s a powerful tool in this rapidly expanding, shifting digital world.

About the Author

Chris Moyer leads the Enterprise Services Mobility and Workplace Practice for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. His team drives solution development for end-user computing, messaging, collaboration, enterprise mobility solutions, and mobile applications. Supporting over 500 clients and 6 million devices, the Practice provides CIOs with secure delivery of information assets to their organizations and customers.

Chris also leads the Enterprise Services Cross Practice Technology Advisory team—working directly with customers to accelerate their business strategy and enable their transition to the New Style of Business. He has spent more than 30 years building business and technology solutions for clients in multiple industries and geographies.

Download full mobile revolution report here