Posts in Mobile

Are UK retailers not bothering with m-commerce?

While mobile commerce seems to be taking hold in other markets, especially Japan, the UK's retailers seem to be slow so far to anticipate this trend, with very few having launched transactional mobile sites.

Looking at a US article on mobile commerce usability today from GetElastic, I was struck by how many of the big name retailers in the States are already catering for customers on mobiles.

Sears, BestBuy, Ralph Lauren, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and others all have m-commerce sites, yet I can think of very few in the UK.

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As mobile shopping gets safer, will more people purchase on the go?

The "Year of Mobile" may forever be on the horizon, but a new survey by Harris Interactive says that consumers are getting more comfortable making purchases through their cell phones. The question of course, is what they're willing to buy.

The study, commissioned by mobile credit card security firm Billing Revolution, found that 1,883 of those surveyed were cellphone owners (93 percent). Almost half (45 percent) said they think shopping via mobile phones is “somewhat safe,” though just over a quarter (26 percent) feel that mobile shopping is completely safe.

Younger people are of course more comfortable giving away their financial information on their phones. 59 percent of those 18-34 found mobile shopping somewhat safe, versus 34 percent of adults over 55. Also, 50 percent of men find the concept of shopping via cellphone somewhat safe versus 39 percent of women.

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Magazines may be flailing, but the brands will play on

Magazines may not be able to sell subscriptions in this terrible economic climate, but that doesn't mean that their brands and expertise should go to waste. Publishers are hoping to get a little pocket change as well as brand extension out of the iPhone's  lucrative app store. Last week, People.com launched an iPhone app for $1.99 and other publishers are announcing plans to follow suit shortly.

Hachette Filipacchi, which owns titles Elle and Car and Driver, plans to launch iPhone shopping and auto apps later this year. Meredith Corp., which owns Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, plans to launch mobile apps in areas related to their titles this year as well. And Conde Nast, which has already entered the space with apps from Epicurious and Style.com, plans to start charging for new and premium content.

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Nokia's Ovi Store gets off to a rocky start

Companies like Nokia were in the mobile phone business long before Apple but with the iPhone and App Store, Apple has been able to eclipse larger rivals in the innovation department.

Today, Nokia fired back at the App Store with an app store of its own: Ovi Store.

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Can iPhone apps lift your brand value through association?

Brands can get a generous lift when affiliated with high quality products such as the iPhone. But what about the applications in the App Store? Let's look at why Apple should build a sustainable eco-system for technology-based mobile applications, which is the key to product quality and research into the potential of mobile applications that brand marketers can harness. 

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The Taco Maker boosts sales with a tiny budget and SMS

Large advertising budgets can be a boon to companies looking to spread the word about their products, but they're not always neccessary. This spring, a Puerto Rican-based taco chain found that a combination radio and mobile campaign increased sales by 21%.

The campaign, which cost under $50,000, focused on spreading word of mouth about the brand and getting people into the stores by offering free burritos via SMS. 

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Apple's response to netbooks: a tablet?

When asked about netbooks earlier this year, Apple COO Tim Cook didn't beat around the bush: "They have cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens, and just not a consumer experience, and not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly".

That's fine, but the reality is that netbooks have made a huge mark on the market and have been given credit for driving much of the growth in the PC market. It's not hard to see why: for $300 or less in some cases, consumers can have an internet-capable 'mini-laptop'. In this economy, it's safe to say that many netbooks have been sold to consumers who otherwise would not have made a laptop purchase due to price considerations.

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Mobile site review: Auto Windscreens

In what seems like an effective use of mobile internet, Auto Windscreens recently released a new mobile site which is optimised for iPhones and Blackberries.

The mobile site allows drivers to find the nearest fitting centre to them and make a booking before that crack gets any bigger. I've been trying the site out to see how well it works.

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New century is seeing more digital developers put lipstick on a pig

Now, I adore pigs, saw "Babe" 11 times, don’t eat ‘em, and pet them at the kiddie zoos.  Yet I would never encourage lipstick for an oinker.  So why do developers of digital products that won’t sell, chirp: “Let’s spin the click potential, sell advertising on it, and give it away?”

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Q&A: Jon Mew on the IAB's mobile advertising study

The IAB released its first mobile ad spend study this week, which shows that the UK market grew by 99.2% year on year, and was worth a total of £28.6m in 2008.

I've been talking to the IAB's head of mobile Jon Mew about the mobile advertising survey...

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App review: Radio Times for iPhone

TV listings magazine Radio Times has recently introduced an iPhone app, which gives users access to listings for all the major TV, satellite and cable channels.

Designed by tvCompass, the Radio Times app (currently £1.79 in the App Store) is a pretty neat piece of work, providing excellent user experience and some useful extra features. In fact, it's much easier to use than the main website.

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Which UK newspapers have mobile sites?

I've reviewed the mobile sites of The Guardian and FT.com recently, and both are excellent examples of how newspapers can make their content accessible for mobile users, as well as creating more advertising opportunities.

With this in mind, I thought I'd see what all of the UK's national newspapers are doing with their mobile sites, how easy they are to find and access, and if they even have one...

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