Mobile sales see record results, 4G presents brand opportunities and Oscars show power of social TV

Mobile retail on the rise

A new report into mobile e-retail sales made for interesting reading this week, with new statistics from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking organisation revealing that sales via smartphones and tablets have risen by a staggering 300% over the past 12 months. This translates into the UK’s tech savvy consumers spending £7.5 billion on their mobile devices alone.

The news is encouraging for mobile marketing departments, as sales managed to triple even as the number of visits to mobile sites failed to reach the target of 30% of all visits set by analysts – this means that the significantly more important conversion rate of visits to sales is outgrowing visits, which can only be positive news for marketers and retailers alike.

The next steps will be for retailers to build on the success of 2012, which has seen mobile devices grow to account for 20% of all site visits and 12% of all sales, up from just 4% of sales in 2011. Growth in this area witnessed a levelling-off towards the end of 2012, but analysts have explained that this may represent a post-Christmas lull, ahead of a potentially stellar year for mobile marketing in 2013.

4G: technology with potential

After months of legal wrangling, the UK’s 4G auction finally concluded recently, raising £2.34 billion for the government’s coffers and also opening up a wealth of new opportunities for mobile marketing, social TV and consumer engagement across the board – the fact that the whole of the UK, which is already one of the biggest markets for smartphones in the world, is predicted to have access to 4G services by the end of 2017 presents huge opportunities for brands operating in this market.

Analysts have been quick to promote the inherent value of 4G in the UK, with Steve Parker (MediaVest) noting that the sheer speed of services will help brands to further increase their consumer engagement efforts through the use of improved location and data targeting technologies. He also sees the technology as an opportunity to send more video communications to customers, in a way that is currently limited under the 3G system.

Bobby Hui (G2 Joshua) was also full of praise for the news, adding that consumers will become more empowered by 4G, allowing them to interact with and share more and more content than ever before. The technology isn’t without its challenges, though, with mobile marketing departments being compelled to work harder than ever to engage with an increasingly distracted audience.

Oscars are the big winner

The Oscars have confirmed what many cutting edge companies already knew, social TV is big and it’s here to stay. New figures released by Trendrr have shown just how big the arena is though, with the Oscars coming out on top of the social TV rankings of the week – even breaking into the top three most social events of the year.

Figures show that users mentioned the event an impressive 14 million times over the course of the week, with 13 million coming on the big day – this is up from just 5 million mentions in 2012, demonstrating a huge rise in the popularity of social TV and second-screen activity. The majority of those engaging with the Oscars were women, who made up 58% of all mentions, although the men weren’t trailing too far behind.

Encouragingly, the other big broadcast social TV events of the week only featured one in the sports category, putting to bed any fears that the phenomenon is purely the domain of the sporting arena.

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