Although smartphones have only been around since 2007, their popularity has grown dramatically in this must-stay-connected society. In 2012, consumers around the world are expected to take possession of more than 450 million new smartphones. For the first time in their relatively short history, more smartphones will be purchased in a single year than laptops and desktop PCs combined.* It seems that staying connected with these go-anywhere mobile devices is worth it.
Smartphone users’ expectations are shifting and their behavior is changing. They are becoming very attached to their little mobile friends – so much so that they bring them to bed with them. People are beginning to expect and demand mobile service to be available wherever they are – at home, at work and on the go. Some will not even plan a vacation without checking to see if service is available at their location of choice.
Smart businesses are tapping into this movement by offering frequent visitors coupons or discounts as reward for their loyalty just by “checking in” through a social networking location based services like Foursquare, Facebook Places, Google Places, Gowalla and Whrrl. These businesses attract the social smartphone generation with rewards and in return the businesses get free promotion on these social networking platforms. When a visitor “checks in” at a local business, social networking friends are notified and the implied invitation to “join me” is music to the ears of the business owner – driving purchases for the socially connected.
There is just one catch. You have to be able to connect, and this generation expects to be connected. If they cannot connect, they will just go somewhere else. For business owners, it is clear that providing a connection-friendly environment will be essential in this social age. If your business has spotty coverage or dead zones, take a look here for answers to your “where-did-all-of-my-customers-go” dilemma.
If you have climbed the social ladder to “Mayor” on Foursquare, leave me a message with all of the details of your rise to social prominence.
*Source: Katy Huberty, Ehud Gelblum,Morgan Stanley Research. Data and Estimates as of 11/10