Smartphones specifically have begun to replace PCs in terms of internet and email usage time as people find it more convenient to be able to browse the web via their mobile smartphones as they go about their daily tasks rather than wait to get on their computers at home or at work. It is because of the staggering numbers that seem to grow exponentially on a daily basis is what has caught market researchers attention.
It is undeniable that the mobile industry has taken the data device industry by a storm. There isn’t an environment now where one can’t find a single mobile device and it is becoming more so with the proliferation of the smartphones. Smartphones specifically have begun to replace PCs in terms of internet and email usage time as people find it more convenient to be able to browse the web via their mobile smartphones as they go about their daily tasks rather than wait to get on their computers at home or at work. It is because of the staggering numbers that seem to grow exponentially on a daily basis is what has caught market researchers attention.
About 4 years ago, Apple had sold 2 million iPhone 4s’ in the first three days on the market. This 2012 they sold that same number of iPhone 5 in less than an hour of its release. Just looking at that alone shows how significantly different the market is now and their need to be connected through their mobile is becoming more and more apparent. Google Android’s operating system alone has shown a growth of over 866% year after year with roughly about 160,000 new android phone units being activated. Worldwide, researchers have found that over 5billion people have mobile phones and of that 5 billion people using mobile phones about 1.08B people are using smartphones and that number is again growing at a rapid pace. 5B people is about 70% of the world’s population. AppBrain, a website that keeps track of apps on both IOS and Android markets have shown that there are now over 610,000 apps in the IOS ecosystem and 430,000 apps on the Android Platform. It is also known that over 45% of IOS users purchase an app at least once a month and 19% of Android users does exactly the same thing.
Taking all these data into account, it is quite easy to see that the smartphones are in a significant position to make an impact on how consumers would communicate and get information to and from companies. It also changes the way businesses are now able to reach consumers and be able to easily conduct e-commerce and harvest their feedback.
The benefits of mobile research are seen in the real time consumer feedback that is given at the precise moment a consumer is purchasing, using or even examining a product or service. Through the use of smartphones, internet based research is now able to reach people that are mobile and on the go allowing businesses to bring their questions where the consumers are at the most convenient time. This gets businesses and researchers an inside look at the consumers’ lives in ways that other methods of research can’t, making every moment into a potential market research opportunity. With the growing base number of smartphone users, this equates to a potential increase of the number of participants providing an impressive amount of potential data that can be used.
Economically businesses are able to save a lot more as consumers are no longer being asked to participate in traditional focus groups which normally requires fees. Cost of providing for the equipment needed in the market research is also brought down as smartphones are fully featured enough to do the job, such as video recording and photographing moments that matter.
Taking these all into account, how these emerging modern day gadgets have changed the way we live and share data, it is important to work hard to adapt the qualitative methods of old and migrate them into the new system. With this new system of qualitative research, businesses regardless of whether it be a small enterprise to a big conglomerate, would now have easy access to the consumer’s insight that is critical in their decision making process. All it takes now is a little understanding of mobile tech and little creative thinking.