PayPal, the payments service owned by eBay Inc, jumped into the nascent mobile payments arena on Thursday with a new device that helps businesses accept credit and debit cards via mobile devices, taking on early-moving start-up Square Inc.
“PayPal Here” — as the service is called — launches in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong on Thursday. Small business merchants in those countries can sign up and get a free, triangle-shaped card reader and mobile application to affix to mobile phones.
That gadget — sometimes referred to as a dongle — plugs right into the top of devices like Apple Inc iPhones and, soon, Google Inc Android smart phones, allowing merchants to take payments through these gadgets on the go. Full Story
So unless you’ve been living under a rock, 2012 is set to be an immense year in the mobile search industry. There was some talk at the recent Mobile World Congress event to shed some light on mobile usage, both in European countries, the US and Japan.
And out of a survey of 1,000 respondants the answers are still, quite surprising. First off there’s the point that using a smartphone to search has made nearly 100% penetration in the market, and most of those search at least once a week. And according to StatCounter Google browser based mobile search accounts for 97% of that share. If that isn’t enough of a spur to work on your mobile site, how about when you consider the social side of the mobile web. Particularly in the US, it was found that over 90% of smartphone owners sought local information in their searches, and that smart device owners were heavy social networking users. Taking that 90% of local searches, 25% of them made a purchase based upon their findings and more than half of them contacted the business they found.
That’s only the US numbers, and already it’s easy to see that the numbers are quickly climbing. Some of the other discoveries made can be found here, but some of the highlights contained within I’ve pasted below.
Half of mobile shoppers make a purchase on their device, and 20% of those (US) make a purchase daily.
More than a third of consumers admit to carrying a smartphone in order to compare prices while they shop.
More than 1 billion people (globally) will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point.
There’s only some of the data reflected by the study, are you and your website ready for the mobile web?
The mobile web, it’s where the search volumes are beginning to slowly shift as smart phone and tablet use continues to grow. Estimates are almost double from just a couple of years ago for the growth of mobile search and it’s worth, somewhere north of $8 billion for 2012 was the last estimate I’ve seen floating around online.
There are a few points which you can keep in mind when it comes to maximizing your mobile potential. Make sure to include reviews and testimonials on your site, and make them readily available in mobile searches. You have only a few seconds to grab a surfers attention in the mobile market, you need to put your absolute best foot forward. Another key point to keep in the forefront of your mobile strategy, be sure to leverage attractive images of your business and it’s services. It’s the first thing that draws a users eye to a result, so making it attractive should be top priority.
Something else to keep in mind, one of the most widely watched sports events occured over this passed weekend if you missed it, the Super Bowl. It’s not exactly the most convenient thing in the world to get up out of your seat when you’re in the midst of an exciting game, and Google released some interesting information on the search metrics about the game. Out of all of the searches conducted during the Super Bowl, 41% of them were made using a mobile device. According to Google, “Super Bowl ad related searches in the US rose 200% on desktop, 970% on tablets and a whopping 2700% on smartphones.” If you think those numbers are impressive, couple that with the fact that more than 110 million people in the US alone watched the game and that’s a huge amount of potential mobile searches.
It’s a new year and it’s time to make a choice. Do you make the leap and move forward in search by making a strong push into the mobile marketing? Now before you run off and invest a great deal of time into a mobile version of your website, a short discussion first.
The number of mobile subscribers with a smart phone has passed the 100 million mark in the US alone, and smartphones are impacting how people access and use the web. Some estimates peg the number at around 80% current smartphone users shop on their phones, and that this number is going to rise by another 73%, that’s a huge amount of commecial activity to be capitalized on. Google mobile query volume is up 400%, by digging into those queries you can begin to determine how smartphone and tablet users may search for your brand. Take a close look at the information you have coming through your stats, should you have access, and be aware that as mobile search continues to increase, the mobile search results will be moved from the organic results.
Then it’s time to take a look at your site as a mobile entity. Most smartphones now have a typical browser that you would find on a computer, but they display content differently. Their processing power is less than that of your desktop machine, so you need to bear that in mind. If your site has a lot of flash, animations or scripts running to make it flashy, you’ll want to eliminate their use in a mobile site. The quicker, cleaner, and more to the point you can make your mobile site the more likely you are to retain visitors. Once you have a proper mobile site created, you can begin to tune the content towards mobile search terms and phrases.
Now that your mobile site is built and full of relevant mobile search terms, you might start to be thinking about having an app to deliver important information and features to customers. It’s not a bad idea, reasonably affordable and it can help streamline passing information to those interested in your brand. A difficulty to bear and mind and hopefully avoid however, is where you make your app available for download. The Apple App store and Google Market are a great repository for you to make your app widely and almost immediately trusted, but it’s a terrible pain to search through the thousands upon thousands of apps. An easy route for you to adapt, create your app and upload to the app stores. Once you’ve been given the all clear, create a link directly on your websites which points your visitor directly at your app.
This is just a short discussion of some of the topics you should keep in the forefront of your mind as 2012 gets rolling. With the amount of smartphone and tablet users growing each day, this may be a year we begin to see the mobile industry take over desktop use.
Although it’s somewhat old news by now, what do you get when you combine one of the worlds largest retailers, with a social media and mobile commerce company? You end up with a product known as @Walmartlabs, who just recently purchased another company called OneRiot. OneRiot is a company devoted to targeted mobile advertising which can go so far as targeting specific locations, handsets and demographics.
So in Wal-Mart’s bag of tricks, we now have a mess of social media advertising in OneRiot and a social media, mobile ecommerce backbone in the foundation of @Walmartlabs when they purchased Kosmix. As a business and website owner you may be thinking it’s not such a big deal, but if you did I’d tell you that you were thinking too small and short sighted. Coming up in the US, rather quickly I might add, is Black Friday and since 2005 it has been the busiest shopping day in the entire country.
With social networking already at the most popular activity on the web, and with the rapidly climbing number of mobile devices being used in social networking, it looks like Wal-Mart is taking steps to harness the lucrative shopping season quickly approaching. Take note all business owners who rely on ecommerce to power up your sales, if your site is not mobile friendly you’ll be sorely missing out. If your site is not able to widely broadcast flash sales for example to your social network, you’ll be missing out on a huge sales potential in the coming Christmas season. It’s never too late to invest in your social/mobile future, take that first step and we’ll get you on your way.
This past Monday, Google finally has tipped it’s hand to the world. To the tune of over $12 billion, the search giant bought up Motorola Mobility, best known for their quality cellular phones.
It’s common knowledge at this point in the industry, that the Google Android operating system has been devouring market share on handheld devices. By adding the Motorola feather into their cap now, Google includes both them and Android, Google voice and fibre optic service plans, as well as their internet voip phone services which are still growing and booming in usage. Providing that all of the industry watchdogs say yes to the deal, Google has bought itself a powerful arm to add to their arsenal with more than 17,000 patents in the Motorola company.
With Android being so popular on so many different handsets, they’re still all going on the record and saying the Motorola purchase doesn’t worry them in the slightest. In fact, they’ve reportedly endorsed the deal as a patent protection measure. That sounds all well and good, but paying $12 billion+ for patent protection is a stretch even for the search giant. Android is a powerful, moldable operating system which many handheld device makers have adopted, but the longer the lifetime of Android has been stretched, so do the problem tickets and the wait of a solution. By having Motorola in their stable, Google will be able to solve some hardware misunderstandings which have dogged their Android OS.
“With Motorola, Google will get a better understanding of how hardware works,” said Ramon Llamas, mobile device analyst at IDC. “They can then offer better help to guide their partners about how to develop hardware for future Android products.”
No one thought 6 months ago that Google would want to buy up a handset manufacturer — or launch a head-to-head assault on Facebook, as it did with Google+. Four months into Larry Page’s tenure as CEO, he’s already proven he’s not afraid to make high-stakes bets. Forget “don’t be evil.” Google’s new motto seems to be “expect the unexpected.”
While the possibility that Android, a beloved smartphone institution, could be sued out of existence by Apple, Microsoft, it is alarming to many, this incident in many ways serves most of all to illustrate much broader problems with the U.S. intellectual property system.
Companies in the U.S. are laying claim to increasingly generic intellectual property and using that IP as instrument not to innovate, but to litigate. The street runs two ways in most cases — often times IP lawsuits are followed by IP counter suits. But often one player in the market is using IP as the general bully, while the other is trying to defend itself.
Many argue the U.S. desperately needs intellectual property reform. But the federal government under both former President George W. Bush (R) and under President Barack Obama (D) has been slow to act.
The Nortel sale should offer a key signal to the market. If the federal government blocks it, it may be a sign that the era of using IP as an offensive weapon is coming to an end. On the other hand, if it’s approved without restriction, it will offer a virtual blueprint of how to defeat your competitor. If the latter scenario plays out consumers may find themselves in an odd market where it’s not the competitor with the best products that wins, but the company with the best lawyers and patent portfolio.
Personally, knowing Google as I do, I think they may well have something up their cuff, watch the space.
It’s the newest multi-billion dollar industry, with only 5% of it’s market being currently tapped as a resource and who owns the biggest slice of the pie? According to a report released last week from banking and investment firm Macquarie Group, Google is absolutely dominating the mobile search share in the US with 98% of the market.
Even Eric Schmidt, the Google CEO admitted that the mobile arm of the company is growing faster than was expected and completely surpassed all of the internal projections of growth. In a somewhat disturbing pattern in the mobile market however, it has shown that costs per click (CPC) are higher, with a lower click through rate (CTR) in the big picture. The average CPC on mobile is 13% more expensive than the PC version while the click through rate is around 30% lower than PC users. To be successful in mobile you need to be relevant, consistent and a way to grab those impulsive searchers. That one dollar adsense ad you put up is now going to cost you $1.13, and if your copy isn’t eye catching or compelling enough to bring the customer to you, it’s the beginning of an expensive lesson.
Organic search engine optimization boasts the highest return on investment in the marketing world today. With measurable results, proactive and engaging marketing can drive your company to it’s limits for productivity. Finding a truly competant SEO expert in the most recent world might seem like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s much more akin to a needle in a haystack. There’s a thousand impersonators out there, but only a handful who can truly get the job done. SEO performed by the experts is like leaving a fingerprint on a website, the real players know when work has been done properly.
Becoming an expert in SEO isn’t a matter of taking an online course, attending a seminar or reading a book. It’s about cutting your teeth by attempting to rank your own sites, earning your wings by surpassing all other players in competetive niches because you’re just that good. You don’t pick up SEO overnight, you don’t learn it by watching the pros and you certainly do not venture into the market without prior experience and knowledge.
With how compact, powerful and convenient todays smartphones are becoming. The rise of the netbook and tablet pc, it’s not a surprise at all that mobile search, search using the aforementioned techonologies, is growing in leaps and bounds. A very general breakdown of Googles numbers were posted in their blog this past week:
Over the past two years, Google’s mobile searches have grown by more than five times. Furthermore, in the third quarter of 2010, Google mobile searches jumped 130% year over year.
Percentages are amazing to look at and all, but they should also be taken with a some thought; they can make the actual results seem much larger than they are. But onto mobile search! Google, like Bing and other search companies, have their own keyword search tool. They have however, recently added the ability to check which terms are being used in mobile searches.
The Keyword Tool now helps you build a better keyword list to target mobile users. Under “Advanced options,” you can now search for keywords for devices with mobile WAP browsers, mobile devices with full Internet browsers (think iPhone and Android phones), or all mobile devices.
So your site, which by now is hopefully mobile friendly (it is 2011 after all), can be optimized with the mobile market in mind. With the billions of dollars in revenue this past holiday season which were made via mobile techonology, it’s well worth the investment.
Consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones to visit retailer’s websites.
According to research from ForeSee, which found more than 30 per cent of shoppers use this method to make a purchase.
This could encourage companies using SEO services to look at their digital marketing when it comes to the mobile web.
As many as 67 per cent of those who visited a shop’s website did so while they were in the store, while 26% used their gadgets to check out a competitor’s website to compare the two price offerings.
“Any retailer not actively working to develop, measure and refine its mobile experience is leaving money on the table for competitors,” the report’s author Kevin Ertell said.
Some 10,000 e-shoppers were quizzed in the survey, which also discovered 8% of mobile users visiting UK retailer sites made a purchase.
The Mobile Association recently predicted smartphone sales will see more people accessing the web via the devices in 2011.