The face behind the screen - local mobile web users


Mobile phones are no longer a luxury, but a necessity. With nearly 1.4 million, or 90 percent, of the West Palm Beach–Fort Pierce designated market area (DMA) having a wireless plan, the question of whether your customers are mobile users or not is, well, no longer a question. Nearly everyone is wireless. Take yourself, for example. I would be willing to bet that at this very moment, you are either reading this blog on a smartphone, have one within 3 feet of you, or you accidentally left it at home today and are completely freaking out (We have all been there.) Cell phones have become a necessity that we cannot live without. With the market nearly saturated with cell-phone subscribers, smart-phones are becoming more affordable and therefore more common. The smart-phone introduced instant, on-the-go Web access, thus changing the way many of us access information on a day-to-day basis. But while nearly everyone is wireless, not everyone is a mobile Web user. More than 42 percent of locals are currently accessing the Internet on their mobile device. This one-on-one engagement creates endless opportunities for local businesses to interact with their customers. But before you can choose and implement a mobile strategy, you must first decide if this is a group of people you want to reach. Learning about who your target is and what they do on a daily basis is the first step in figuring out when to get in front of them.

Who are they?

Mobile Web users in the West Palm Beach–Fort Pierce DMA are typically middle-age, well-established and active. By “well-established,” we mean they are employed (73 percent), college-educated (68 percent) and white-collar workers (50 percent) with a median household income of about $71,200. This financial stability makes them a popular and highly desirable audience – you want to reach the people with money to spend, right? They also tend to be married with kids, which explains their active, on-the-go lifestyles. Being a mom, or a one-person taxi service, there is little time to slow down between work, soccer and the grocery store. Their on-the-go nature proves why they rely so heavily on their smart-phones for information.

How are they spending?

In our market, the mobile Web users are not only earning money, they are also spendingmoney. With total U.S. mobile commerce projected to account for $159 billion in retail sales in 2012, this is a huge opportunity to capture new business – and this is the group of people who are going to make it happen. Even when you look past just their strictly mobile transactions, this audience is also spending more money on higher-ticket items than those adults who shop only online. This includes items like new and used cars, home improvements and overall online purchases. The average total amount spent on online purchases (in the past 12 months) for mobile Web users is $620, compared to the average $540 spent by other online adults. Some of the top items they shop for include clothing and accessories, airline tickets and books.

*Source: 2012 Scarborough Report, Release 2; “The Mobile Influence Factor in Retail Sales Study.” June 27, 2012. Deloitte Study.

written by: Ashton Norris