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Samsung Smartwatch ($299) Appears Right on Time

As expected today at the IFA conference in Berlin, Samsung announced its anticipated Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The device, which can make calls when connected to a phone via bluetooth, is currently only compatible with the new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy 10.1. Both were introduced today and both run Android 4.3, which is required.

More Galaxy phones will be updated to 4.3 in the near future, thus making them compatible with the Gear watch. Below are some of the relevant details and specs for the device:

  • Availability: September 25 outside US; October for US market
  • Price: $299 
  • Battery life: day of "regular use"  
  • Voice control: Gear runs S Voice, powered by Nuance
  • Screen: 1.63-inch Super AMOLED
  • Camera: 1.9-megapixel (can also take video) 
  • Apps: 70 partner apps to start with more promised
  • Processor: 800MHZ
  • Storage/RAM: 4GB of storage; 512MB of RAM

The $299 price tag may be costly to some consumers, especially given the fact that you've got to have a Samsung smartphone to fully utilize it.

My first (entirely vicarious) impression of the watch, which comes in multiple colors, is that the UI and overall design are not as elegant as they might be. That's especially true of the UI. The camera is awkwardly positioned on the band as well. 

It will be interesting to see how all this lines up with Apple's iWatch (especially pricing), which is expected to be announced on September 10. Google is also working on a smartwatch reportedly.

Making the iPhone 5C Good but Not Too Good

Apple's iPhone launch event is confirmed for September 10. It will take place at Apple's HQ in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to announce multiple devices at the event, including a new iPhone 5S, potentially an iPhone 5C and possibly an iWatch wearable device. There may also be new iPads.

The iPhone 5C is real and may come in a variety of colors (5 is the rumor) -- hence the colorful bubbles in the invitation. The forthcoming 5S is supposed to come in a champagne or gold in addition to traditional black and white. Pricing of these devices is uncertain, though the 5S will likely follow past pricing ($199 with 2-year contract, etc.). 

Some reports have suggested the 5C will cost between $400 and $500 unlocked. Carrier subsidy pricing is TBD. The real question surrounding the 5C is how appealing will it be? How "good" wil it be?

Apple is walking a tightrope.

The 5C is intended to make Apple more competitive in developing markets and at the "lower end" of the market where there's more price sensitivity. If the phone is "good enough" and cheap enough -- does the "C" stand for "cheap" or "China" or "color"? -- it could potentially cannibalize sales of the 5S. But if the phone is not of sufficiently high quality it will fail and Apple's brand will suffer.

I suspect that Apple will include a previous-generation chip in the 5C (perhaps the current 5 chip), whereas the 5S will get a new more powerful processor. There may also be memory limitations with the 5C. However the apps and app ecosystem should be the same.

The primary differentiators will thus likely be price, color, materials (plastic) and processing power/speed. But how does Apple build an attractive product that is competitive but doesn't overshadow its more profitable flagship product? That's the dilemma. 

As BlackBerry Falls, Windows Phones Make Gains in Europe

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports that Windows Phone has made gains across major EU markets and now stands as the solid #3 platform behind Android and Apple. Windows Phone success in Europe is largely due to its association with Nokia, which remains a strong brand in Europe. 

Germany, UK, France and Italy are Windows Phones' strongest markets. Gains in those countries helped elevate the Microsoft OS's share of the smartphone market in the "EU5" to 8.2%, up from 4.9% a year ago. That's an impressive gain. Mexico and Australia are also big markets for Windows Phones, according to Kantar. 

Here are a comparison of the Kantar smartphone market-share data for the US, China and EU5 markets:

As indicated above, Kantar says that Windows Phone has a 3.5% share in the US. However, comScore shows a smaller gain and share (as of June 2013):

smartphone market share june by OS

The Kantar data show a significant loss of share in the US for Android -- nearly 8%. Given this I'm skeptical that the data are truly reflective of the broader US market. However Kantar boasts that its panel is the largest and its data are the most accurate in the industry. 

In Europe, BlackBerry and Symbian have lost a combined 7.4%. That's more than the gains enjoyed by Windows Phones. Accordingly the question arises: to what extent are those defecting BlackBerry, Symbian and "other" adopting Windows Phones? The Kantar data strongly imply that's where Windows Phones' EU gains are coming from. 

26 Reasons to Attend Place 2013: The Indoor Marketing Summit

On October 8 in San Francisco, Opus Research will host Place 2013: The Indoor Marketing Summit. The first event of its kind devoted to the implications of indoor location, it's shaping up to be one of the most interesting events of the year.

The Place Conference will feature Keynotes from Google and Dick's Sporting Goods (+ aisle411), as well as multiple indoor location case studies and demos (existing deployments). Panels will take on consumer privacy, in-store analytics, the implications of indoor location for ROI measurement, online-to-offline ad tracking, in-store marketing to consumers and a range of other topics of interest to all digital marketers, agencies and merchants.

If you haven't already registered, do so today. The early bird rate is gone but if you attend our upcoming webinar, Beyond CTR: Tracking Mobile Ad Impact on Store Visits, you can get access to a new discount code that will save you money off the full rate. 

If you're not already convinced, here are 26 additional reasons to attend the event:

  1. Alexei Agratchev, Co-Founder, RetailNext
  2. Laura Berger, Senior Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Federal Trade Commission
  3. Cormac Conroy, VP, Mobile, Location and Computing, Qualcomm Atheros
  4. Don Dodge, Developer Advocate, Google
  5. Jeremy Geiger, CEO, Retailigence
  6. Jeff Hardison, Vice President, Meridian (Aruba Networks)
  7. Monica Ho, Vice President of Marketing, xAd
  8. Michael Healander, General Manager, GISi Indoors
  9. Waleed Kadous, Android location team lead, Google
  10. Asif Khan, Founder, Location Based Marketing Association
  11. Joseph Leigh, Head of Venue Maps, Nokia
  12. Duncan McCall, Co-Founder & CEO, PlaceIQ
  13. Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research
  14. Patrick Moorhead, Vice President - Mobile, Catalina Marketing
  15. Neg Norton, President, Local Search Association
  16. Sarah Peterson, Product Manager, Google Maps
  17. Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder & CEO, aisle411
  18. Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director & Co-chairman, Future of Privacy Forum
  19. Jon Rosen, Executive Vice President, iInside (Wireless Werx)
  20. Todd Sherman, Chief Marketing Officer, Point Inside
  21. David Shim, Founder & CEO, Placed
  22. Ben T. Smith, IV, Chief Executive Officer, Wanderful Media
  23. Will Smith, CEO, Euclid Analytics
  24. Greg Sterling, Senior Analyst & Program Director, Internet2Go
  25. Melissa Tait, VP of Technology, Primacy
  26. Derek Top, Research Director, Opus Research

Forecast: Google Mobile Revenue to Exceed $11 Billion in 2013

Last year Google brought in ad revenues of $43.7 billion. This year, thus far, the company has made roughly $24 billion. For the full year 2013 Google is likely to earn $50 billion in advertising revenue. That may be a low projection, however.

EMarketer today released some estimates on the breakdown of PC vs. mobile and search vs. display revenues for Google. According to the estimates, search will generate 82% of Google's overall revenue this year with just under 20% of search revenue coming from mobile.

By comparison 2% of display ad revenue will come from mobile. 

Over time the data aggregator sees more than 40% of Google's total ad revenues coming from mobile (search + display). 

Let's look at what these breakdowns (if accurate) would mean in real terms, assuming $50 billion in total projected ad revenue for 2013:

  • Search: $41 billion
  • Display: $9 billion

The other way to view those revenues is the following:

  • PC:  $38.5 billion
  • Mobile: $11.5 billion

If the standard US (45%) vs. international (55%) ad revenue distribution holds for mobile then the following will be the rough figures for Google mobile ad revenue by geography (approximately): 

  • US: $5.1 billion
  • International:  $6.3 billion 

Despite the above, Google's US mobile ad revenue is likely to be somewhat stronger than its mobile revenues from outside the US. Accordingly I would probably flip those percentage figures when it came to mobile. 

Last year the IAB reported that mobile ad revenue in the US was $3.4 billion. This year it's likely to hit $7 billion according to our estimates. If that's correct then the Google figure above is too aggressive.

Facebook on Track for $3 Billion in Mobile Revenue This Year

In roughly two years, Facebook has rapidly become the second most successful ad "network" (after Google) both in terms of overall revenue and mobile advertising specifically. According to its most recent quarterly data 41% of Facebook ad revenues were attributable to mobile ($656 million). It's not unreasonable to assume that by the end of Q4 nearly half of Facebook's ad revenue will come from mobile. 

Facebook's overall ad revenue in 2013 is likely to be somewhere between $6.2 and $6.5 billion (not all Facebook's revenue is from advertising). Assuming 48% of Facebook's ad revenues are from mobile that would mean between $2.9 and $3.1 billion in mobile revenue for 2013. 

Data aggregator eMarketer projects that Facebook overall ad revenue will come in at $6.36 billion this year. By contrast, Google will control more than 50% of global ad revenue in 2013 ($39 billion). Google will capture 53% of total mobile ad revenue, whereas Facebook will grab roughly 16% of the global mobile market according to eMarketer's projection. 

What's striking is how a handful of companies (publishers) are dominating mobile advertising, while dozens of others capture relatively small shares of the mobile market (which still may be over $100 million annually). 

Emarketer also projects that by 2017 mobile will be nearly half of all US display ad revenue.

By the end of the year total US mobile ad revenue (search + display) could reach $7 billion according to our estimates. The mobile display revenue figure in the chart above ($3.81 billion) is thus probably a bit aggressive. Search continues to dominate mobile advertising (55% to 60%) and nearly all of that revenue belongs to Google. 

Google's enhanced campaigns is a wild card that could boost mobile search revenue -- it's mandatory -- and raise overall US mobile ad revenues to over $7 bilion.

Data Smackdown: Two Views of M-Commerce (Smartphones vs. Tablets)

E-commerce hosting and services provider MarketLive released a mid-year benchmarketing report yesterday, covering digital marketing and commerce trends through the lens of its many clients. There are many interesting findings. I'll focus however on the mobile aspects of the report, which appear to directly contradict a comScore m-commerce report released today.

The comScore data argue that there are many more e-commerce transactions happening on smartphones vs. tablets. This was something of a surprise to me. Accordingly, comScore puts the total value of US mobile-drive e-commerce at $10.6 billion for 1H 2013; 6% is from smartphones and 3.5% is from tablets.

mobile commerce

These numbers contradict everything I've seen about conversions and commerce on smartphones and tablets. One potential explanation may be that there are nearly 2X the number of smartphones as tablets in the US market.

However the MarketLive data, as mentioned, show something much more consistent with earlier findings I've seen from many sources: tablet e-commerce conversions are higher and tablets are driving a greater percentage of overall revenue than smartphones. 

According to the very busy MarkeLive slide below, smartphones drive more overall traffic but tablets generate considerably more revenue. MarketLive says that roughly 12% of e-commerce revenue for its clients are coming from tablets, whereas only 2.7% is coming from smartphones. However 19% of traffic comes from smartphones vs. 13% of visits from tablets. 

Tablet conversions are 3X conversions on smartphones. 

I cannot reconcile the comScore data with the MarketLive data. The weight of evidence is on the side of MarketLive however. 

Kindle Tablets Lose Half Their Traffic from 12 Months Ago

Given that Jumptap has now sold itself to Millennial Media it's not clear whether we'll get many more of the company's monthly Mobile STAT reports. The August report focuses on device market share by traffic on the Jumptap network. 

It's interesting to contrast the Jumptap traffic figures with survey based market-share data from comScore. First the Jumptap numbers: 

Jumptap sees Apple devices (iPhone + iPod Touch) generating 56.8% of smartphone traffic on its network. Collectively Android devices are responsible for roughly 35% of traffic according to the slide above.

By comparison comScore (based on consumer survey data) says that Android has a US smartphone market share of 52% vs 40% for Apple -- almost the reverse of the Jumptap numbers. Millennial ad network data are more consistent with the comScore figures below.

smartphone market share june by OS

The tablet traffic data provided by Jumptap show the iPad remains well ahead of other competing devices, though the Galaxy Tab and Nexus 7 have grown since last year. The "headline" from the chart below is the dramatic decline in Amazon Kindle traffic in the past 12 months.

Compare tablet traffic data from Chitika, another mobile ad network. It shows an even greater margin (June 2013) between the iPad and its rivals.

June iPad traffic

Finally Jumptap reflects the relative traffic split between the mobile web and apps. The Jumptap data show that ad requests from apps now generate 84% of the traffic it sees vs. 16% from the mobile web. This is consistent with data from both Nielsen and comScore that show a roughly 80-20 split between apps and mobile web traffic in favor of apps. 

However 2012 survey data from Nielsen, xAd, Telmetrics reflect differing levels of app usage by category. And in retail the mobile web is used more than apps as a general matter. So despite app dominance in the aggregate, in particular verticals the story may be quite different and much more nuanced. 

Source: xAd-Telmetrics “mobile path to purchase” study conducted by Nielsen (Q2 2012), n=1,500 survey respondents and behavior observed from 6,000 Apple and Android users

Pandora: More than 70% of Our Revenue Now From Mobile

Pandora is now essentially a mobile company. Although its users listen on multiple platforms, mobile is the driver of the company's growth and revenue. It's iPhone app arguably saved the company from going under in 2008. 

Last week Pandora released revenue numbers for Q2. The company had earnings of $162 million. Ad revenue was $128 million and subscription and "other" revenue was more than $33 million. 

The company also said that $116 million of that revenue was attributable to mobile. That works out to almost 72% of overall ($162 million) quarterly revenue coming from mobile devices. By comparison Facebook said that 41% of its Q2 2013 revenue came from mobile.

The company didn't break out mobile revenue in more detail so it's not clear whether the $116 million is all advertising or whether some of the subscription and "other" revenue is being attributed to mobile. My guess is that subscription revenue would not attributed to mobile.

Potentially then if the $116 is all ad revenue it would mean that essentially 90% of Pandora's ad revenue was being generated by mobile users.  

Mobile Teens Voice Privacy Concerns, Facebook Offers More Privacy Control

This morning the Pew Internet & American Life project released new data on teen app usage and mobile privacy. The big "takeaway" is that teens care very much about privacy and have taken action against (deleted) mobile apps they feel unnecessarily or gratuitously collect personal information or location data.

Pew says that 78% of teens have a mobile phone (though not all have smartphones) and 23% have tablets. The teen smartphone penetration number is probably 58%, given that's the number of teens who have downloaded mobile apps. 

Just over half (51%) "have avoided apps due to privacy concerns" while 26% have uninstalled an app because it was collecting personal data. And 46% of teen mobile users have turned off location tracking features (on their phone or in an app) out of concern for privacy. 

Teens and location tracking

Teens are more forgiving of apps that seek location data where there's a logical and clear justification for the information (e.g., maps). Girls are more likely to disable location tracking than boys; 59% of girls vs. 37% of boys have done so. 

Separately but still on the theme of privacy, Facebook announced today that it would give more control to Facebook mobile log-in users over what information is shared by third party apps on the Facebook Timeline and News Feed. Here's what the company said today in its announcement:

Although Facebook Login is widely used, we understand people’s concerns about apps posting on their Timeline or to their friends. For the past several months, we’ve been rolling out a new version of Facebook Login on mobile to address these concerns.

With this new update, mobile apps using Facebook Login must now separately ask you for permission to post back to Facebook.

Don’t want to share your music playlist or workout routine with friends? You can choose to skip sharing altogether.

Clearly separating sharing means people can decide whether they only want to use Facebook Login for fast registration without also sharing back to Facebook. If you want to share later, you still can.

This involuntary sharing element was a selling point for publishers and developers but a turn-off to many users. It became a significant barrier for some to using Facebook log-in for third party apps/sites.

By separating sharing from social log-ins Facebook hopes to remove friction for many people who might log in with Facebook but don't today for privacy reasons. I'm in that group. 

Google Loses 11% Mobile Search Share in Past Year

Yesterday comScore reported that Yahoo had claimed the top spot on its Top 50 websites chart from Google for the first time since March 2011 (originally I thought it was March 2008). Following that announcement and the excitement it generated, I decided to look at some of the mobile data, using StatCounter (which is actual traffic rather than extrapolated consumer survey data).

On a global basis Google dominates mobile search and has for the past several years. A year ago it controlled 97% of the worldwide mobile search market. Today that number is down slightly to just under 94%. Yahoo and Bing have grown slightly over the last year, which accounts for the change. 

In the US market something more interesting has happened. According to StatCounter data, Google has lost more than 10 points of mobile search market share in the past year: 

August 2012:  

  • Google -- 94%
  • Yahoo -- 4.2%
  • Bing -- 1.5%

August 2013: 

  • Google -- 82.8%
  • Yahoo -- 11.8%
  • Bing -- 5.1%

It's not clear why this has happened. But it is clear that if Google were to suffer a 11% loss in online search market share, investors and pundits would be going berserk. Yet this mobile decline has passed relatively unnoticed. 

While Bing has had a strong search app for some time, Yahoo hasn't. The latter has, however, poured money and effort into developing better mobile apps and redesigned key properties online and in mobile (e.g., homepage, mail).

It may be that many of Yahoo's mobile intiatives and effort to "update" the Yahoo identity and UX as a whole have started to pay off by lifting the brand. And those things may have translated into more mobile search volume. 

Placed Introduces Offline Mobile Ad Tracking

Last week Placed introduced Placed Attribution, a mobile ads offline tracking solution. The idea is to used Placed's opt-in panel to measure the impact of mobile ad exposures on in-store visits. PlaceIQ has a similar offering using a different methodology.

Capturing the offline impact of digital ads on store visits (and potentially sales) is really a kind of "holy grail" when it comes to conversion tracking. The ratio of online to offline conversions is skewed heavily in the direction of offline. E-commerce is only 5.5% of offline retail and mobile commerce is approaching 10% of e-commerce.

Yet up to half of offline retail spending may not be impacted by digital media and the internet. Clicks are a terrible metric for mobile advertising, and secondary metrics like map views and calls are better but don't capture the entire picture for marketers.

There's a lot more "visibility" on performance when you can start to measure how digital ads impact offline purchase activity. That's the objective of Placed Attribution. Here are the kind of data to be reported:

  • Store Visits: In-store visits attributed to mobile advertising.
  • Lift – Standard: Impact of audience targeting and ad exposure in driving in-store visits as compared to the baseline population.
  • Audience Features: Demographic and geographic characteristics of audiences exposed to impressions, and those who went in-store.

Some of this will be extrapolated from a sample drawn from Placed's panel. Even so, it represents an advance over most of the ways in which marketers try to model attribution when it comes to mobile ads and offline conversions. Offline/in-store tracking will be common -- even mandatory -- for many categories of mobile ads within 12 - 18 months.

We'll be discussing "Ad Tracking to the Point of Sale" with PlaceIQ, Placed, xAd and Retailigence at the Place Conference on October 8 in San Francisco

Is Millennial Stuck in the 'Middle Seat' Even with JumpTap?

Earlier this week in something of a surprise JumpTap aggreed to be acquired by larger competitor Millennial Media for roughly $225 million in an all-stock deal. JumpTap had been on a publicly stated course toward an IPO. However JumpTap CEO George Bell told BizJournals that the uncertainty of the public markets swayed him in the direction of Millennial's offer:

"Our view was that Wall Street remained a very choppy, uncertain bedfellow and, despite good performance in our growth, it wasn't clear that we would have Wall Street's 'permission' to go public," Bell said. "Joining up with Millennial Media, of course, allows us to achieve a public status for our employees and shareholders without the pain of going through an IPO process ourselves."

Millennial bought smaller rival JumpTap in part because it needs to bulk up to better compete with bigger, more visible networks such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and even Pandora. Last year Millennial had revenues of roughly $178 million vs. $104 million in 2011.

With the addition of JumpTap, Millennial expects FY 2013 revenue to come in between $270 and $280 million. That's impressive growth but there's a substantial contribution being made by JumpTap's revenue. Compare the fact that Facebook is on course to make $1 billion in mobile revenue by Q1 2014 and Google will probably take in $4 billion in mobile ad revenue this year. 

IDC's 2012 estimates put Millennial in the number two "network" position after Google. JumpTap is number four:

  • Google (AdMob): $243 million
  • Millennial Media: $151 million
  • Apple iAd: $125 million
  • JumpTap: $90 million

The IDC 2012 estimate was off, as you can see, by about $26 million (not bad as these things go). It might similarly be low for JumpTap.

Let's say that JumpTap's revenues will come in around $100 million for 2013. Add that to Millennial's $178 million and that's where the latter's 2013 revenue guidance likely comes from ($178 + $100).

There will undoubtedly be more mobile ad network consolidation in the next 12 - 24 months. For example I expect Yahoo to make an ad-related mobile acquisition. Microsoft may as well; and Facebook will probably buy more mobile startups. The mobile ad network space is even more more of a "winner take all" market than the PC network segment. Indeed, five or six companies in the US will take about 75% of global mobile ad revenue in 2013. 

Millennial is in a sort of metaphorical "middle seat": neither big enough nor specialized enough. Accordingly it may be squeezed from "below" by specialist ad networks such as xAd and by programmatic buying. From "above," as mentioned, the company faces tough competition from Google and Facebook.

All that is why Millennial is going after larger scale and better data for more precision targeting. The risk remains, however, that despite JumpTap, Millennial might not be able to differentiate itself enough and lose out to more visible or "muscular" rivals.

Facebook Closing in on $4B Mobile Run Rate

To say that Facebook's mobile ad revenue growth has been impressive is an understatement. It has been, what you might call, meteoric.

In the course of a 12 month period the company has gone from less than 10% of ad revenue from mobile to 41% in Q2 of this year. By the end of this year (or very early next) 50% of Facebook's ad revenue will likely come from mobile. (By comparison, in 2012 more than half of Twitter's ad revenues came from mobile.)

Facebook mobile ad revenue growth

In Q2 '13 Facebook made more than $650 million in mobile ad revenue. If current trends continue expect Facebook to have a $1 billion mobile quarter by 1H 2014 (and possibly Q1 earnings). That would enable the company to claim a $4 billion annual mobile-ad revenue run rate.  

Based on averages and simple math, Facebook made roughly $0.80 per mobile user in Q2 on a global basis -- up from $0.50 in Q1 of this year. However developed markets offer more revenue than emerging markets and so the revenue generated per mobile user will vary considerably from market to market in practice.

Facebook monetization per mobile user

In 2010 we asked "How Long Before Facebook is a Mobile Ad Network?" and predicted that when Facebook turned on mobile ads it would immediately become the largest mobile "network." 

As formidable as Facebook is becoming in mobile Google is still dominant globally. Incredibly, Mountain View is expected to capture more than 50% of mobile revenues on a global basis this year. Facebook claims a much smaller percentage of mobile revenues, but still ranks as the number two player in mobile advertising today. 

Survey: E-Mail Marketers Need to Get Serious about Mobile -- or Else

Email vendor and small-business marketing services provider Constant Contact has released survey data (n=1,497 US adults) that show consumers increasingly expect to be able to read email on smartphones and other mobile devices. And if they can't they'll simply hit delete.

More and more email opens happen in mobile (numbers are creeping up over 50%) yet many marketers have not optimized their campaigns with this understanding. Nearly 90% of people between 18 and 30 read email on their smartphones. But perhaps the major finding of the survey is that "52% of consumers between 18 and 30 years old say their smartphone is now their primary email-reading device."

Regardless of age, however, consumers want to be able to open/read email on mobile devices. The survey found that older people also read mobile email: "66% of consumers over 60 open emails on a mobile device." 

Here are additional top-level data from the survey:

  • 80% smartphone owners say it is “extremely important” to be able to read emails on their mobile devices.
  • 75% said they are “highly likely” to delete an email if they can’t read it on their smartphone.
  • 79% of consumers are highly likely to reopen an email on a computer that was originally opened on a smartphone
  • 49% of consumers say they are likely to click on hyperlinks in mobile emails
  • 82% of iPhone owners open email on their mobile device
  • 72% of non-iPhone owners open email on their mobile device 

The individual bullets are not as important as the overall message: e-mail marketers need to get really serious about mobile optimization right now.

Most Smartphone Commerce Happening in the House

As apps and websites become optimized for mobile commerce, and as the "credit card problem" is addressed (see TheFind and Jumio), there will be more buying on smartphones. Most retailers and brands currently assume smartphone transactions happen on the go or in stores (or on other devices). In the home e-commerce is supposed to be the domain of PCs (and increasingly tablets).

The conventional wisdom is that smartphones are more heavily used for shopping out of home and that's been supported by prior survey data. Yet data released yesterday by Nielsen tell a somewhat different and more nuanced story.

Americans are indeed buying things on their smartphones (24%) but they're mostly doing it at home: 72% of people making purchases on their smartphones did so at home and not "on the go," as one would have expected. Only 3% of smartphone owners buying things on their devices did so in stores; 6% did so in their cars. The remainder, 18%, fall into an unidentified "other" bucket. 

It's interesting that smartphones are so widely used for commerce-related activities (store locators) on the go but buying happens at home. Nielsen doesn't offer any real explanation however. It may be that the "immediacy" and availability of the device make it a preferred option for some. 

There's also no data about audience segments. It would be interesting to see if these at-home smartphone transactors are younger, older and whether they have other devices available to them. 

Regardless this is another "wake up call" arguing that marketers and retailers need to quickly optimize e-commerce experiences for smartphones. 

Acxiom, 4INFO Announce Deal for CRM-Based Mobile Ad Targeting

The reinvented 4INFO announced a deal with Acxiom this morning that is consistent with the way mobile and the broader digital advertising markets are evolving: advanced targeting and in-store/sales lift measurement.

According to the release, "The partnership provides US consumer brands new levels of mobile advertising precision and confidence for customer relationship campaigns, including the ability to measure results where it counts — at the cash register." Accordingly, companies will be able to use their own data to target existing customers (and prospects) on mobile devices -- and then track response to the point of sale and see direct sales impact.

Facebook has a similar product and relationship with Acxiom. At Facebook "Custom Audiences" allows companies to find and target their own customers on the site or in mobile. Catalina has a deal with 4INFO that leverages the former's purchase history data so that third party CPG companies and others can target buyers of specific products/product categories. But the 4INFO-Acxiom CRM-based targeting and sales measurement may be a first (other than Facebook) in mobile. 

Behind the scenes the advertiser's CRM/customer data (or Acxiom audience data) are matched with 4INFO's database on a 1:1 basis. 4INFO claims profiles of 152 million mobile devices covering 101 million US households.

4INFO will also be making Acxiom audience segments data available to its "AdHaven Bullseye" advertisers. Most of the ad inventory 4INFO uses come from mobile exchanges. 

It's worth repeating; what's significant about the announcement are the ways that it's a kind of harbinger of the future:

  1. Increasingly sophisticated and precise mobile targeting
  2. Ability to measure in-store/sales impact 

As I've argued elsewhere in-store/sales measurement will become an almost mandatory requirement of many mobile campaigns (depending on the objectives). There are now multiple companies including Placed, PlaceIQ, uSamp and others offering the capacity to measure in-store lift from mobile campaigns. Being tied into CRM databases offers even greater accuracy in terms of measuring sales impact. 

Once these methodologies become more widely available and understood, advertisers will demand them. Placed and PlaceIQ will be talking about ad tracking to the point of sale and in-store measurement at Place 2013. The early bird conference rate expires this week. To take advantage register today

Pew: Roughly 122 Million Bank Online, 83 Million in Mobile

The Pew Internet & American Life Project issued an online banking report (based on US consumer survey findings) earlier this week. Pew found that 61% of internet users said they banked online and 35% of "cell phone owners" also said they used their mobile devices to do some of their banking.

The total adult US internet population is roughly 200 million (give or take a few million). Using rough math and Pew's survey findings, that would mean approximately 122 million people were engaged in online banking in the US. Mobile phone penetration (including non-smartphones) among the US adult population is over 100% according to CTIA.

That means, using the Pew survey data, that roughly 83 million adults in the US are doing mobile banking. Although the percentages in the chart below seem far apart, the actual population numbers are much closer.  

Online and mobile banking 

According to Pew younger, non-white US adults are more likely to do mobile banking than their white peers:

Young adults (ages 18-29) and whites report the most significant increases for online banking. In 2010, 55% of 18-29 year-olds said they banked online; in 2013, 66% of that group did so. In 2010, 47% of whites said they banked online; in 2013, 54% of that group did so.

Younger adults are also leading the mobile banking trend. However, in contrast with online banking trends, non-white cell phone owners are more likely than whites to engage in mobile banking.

What's interesting to consider is whether online banking will lead to more comfort with mobile bill paying generally and later mobile commerce and payments beyond that. However one factor here is that people mostly trust their banks, and their willingness to conduct financial transactions on mobile devices will depend (for now) on their relationship to the brand or provider in question.  

M-Commerce Approaching 10% of E-Commerce

Comscore has published Q2 e-commerce estimates for the US. I discuss those figures over at Screenwerk. The quarterly total is just under $50 billion ($49.8 billion). Of interest here are the "m-commerce" estimates provided by comScore: $4.7 billion in Q2. 

Here's what the firm said about mobile e-commerce: "Consumers spent an additional $4.7 billion in mobile commerce (m-commerce) via smartphones and tablets, an increase of 24% over the past year." That means, according to comScore, m-commerce was about 9.4% of e-commerce spending, which is in turn about 5.5% of total US retail. 

The firm doesn't detail what percentage of m-commerce is coming from tablets vs. transactions on smartphones. However there are relatively few e-commerce transactions completed on smartphones, though that is growing.

E-commerce on tablets is much like e-commerce on a PC; there is relatively little friction vs. the experience on smartphones. Indeed, most e-commerce sites have not done a good job optimizing their shopping experiences for smartphones.  

I'm sure that comScore doesn't have this number but what would be most interesting is the dollar impact of smartphone usage on retail spending, either online or in the store. Smartphones now are an integral part of the shopping process and especially used in stores.

Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind, told me earlier this week that 70% of the smartphone searches on TheFind's app are happening in stores. Accordingly smartphones are playing a major role in consumer decision making and having a much larger impact on purchase decisions than the still-modest "m-commerce" figures would suggest. 

Has Android 'Peaked' in the US?

Android's share (of smartphone shipments) across the globe is gaining momentum according to the latest IDC numbers. By contrast there's evidence that Android's US share may have "peaked" according to analysis from Asymco's Horace Dediu. 

Below are IDC's estimates showing global market share for Q2 by shipments: 

  • Android: 79.3% (2012: 69.1%)
  • iOS: 13.2%  (2012: 16.6%)
  • Windows Phone: 3.7%  (2012: 3.1%)
  • BlackBerry: 2.9%  (2012: 4.9%) 
  • Others: 1%  (2012: 6.2%) 

Thus Android stands near 80% of global smartphone shipments, which aren't identical with sales. But it's a directional indication of actual sales.  

However in the US market the story is different; Android's share is flat (per comScore): 

smartphone market share june by OS 

Dediu points out that over the past six to eight months in the US the iPhone has gained more usage than Android (11M vs. 6.6M users). So it would appear that Apple's US and international fortunes have significantly diverged. 

However we also have research from CIRP, which finds (via survey data) that "first time smartphone buyers" in the US (meaning those buying smartphones for the first time now) tend to be older and more price sensitive. They buy "secondary Android brands" (e.g., LG) and keep their phones longer. 

Apple's strategy for more price-sensitive consumers has been the iPhone 4 and 4S, which has been reasonably successful to date. However rumors suggest a low-cost "plastic" iPhone for emerging markets and more price-conscious consumers. 

When looked at in the context of overall computer operating systems (including the PC), Android will be the dominant OS by 2015 on a global basis -- far outstripping Windows. By comparision, Apple's overall OS share (iOS + Mac OS) is expected to nearly match Windows.