Today the world is mobilized, but many businesses are not there just yet. You would think with over 20 years in the making of today's "smartphone" we would be well prepared for this shift that is happening. The first smartphone came out in 1992 when IBM released Simon, a clunky black brick touch screen personal communicator that combined the functions of a cell phone, fax machine and computer weighing in at over a pound. The term smartphone wasn't coined in our vocabulary until 1997 when Ericcson presented the concept. For consumers, the smartphone did not take off and become mainstream until 2006 when Blackberry presented one of the earliest phones to get e-mail and allow web surfing. It wasn't until the launch of the iPhone in 2007 that it became a mainstream term in our vocabulary and changed the mobile landscape we live in today. Covering the mobile landscape from all sides is becoming more and more important. Businesses that are ahead of the curve and have a mobile strategy that works are fully mobile web optimized, maintaining their own apps, maximizing sales, researching their users and delivering more value to today's connected consumers.
Related: The Three Reasons Enterprises Are Not As Mobile Ready As They Think (Read it On Silicon Angle)
Being mobile isn't just about having a mobile friendly website or mobile advertising. Mobile is not a stagnant term. It is always evolving and growing. Developing your own app is just step one of what it takes to be a modern mobilized business. There is no easy answer to how much it will cost or how many resources will be needed to make it work in your environment. It's important to consider it can take your team up to four months (on average) to build the infrastructure behind your app alone to meet the needs and requirements of the large amount of devices and operating systems. From there, you have to consider the ongoing maintenance and updates required to keep your app up to date and secure. This great infographic below from Kinvey is based on the input from 100 mobile designers on how long it takes to build an app in today's business landscape. The bigger the business, the more time and resources will be required to build the back end infrastructure to connect all of the dots accordingly.
18 weeks is simply the average. It's crazy to think Apollo 11 could travel to the moon 40 times in the time it takes the average business to build the first version of their app. Think of all the things that could go wrong. Crashing, freezing, irregular behavior, security, poor maintenance, not enough resources, poor user experience, lack of insight and the list goes on and on. That's why there are thousands of new businesses emerging today to specialize in helping you take your business mobile. The research entity of going mobile is just a piece of the pie. Our mission is to help you gain insights to deliver more value, whether it's in your existing app or one we build for you as a starting ground to learn how to take your business mobile.
This Black Friday in partnership with Ipsos mobile technology will be used to connect with Black Friday consumers as they shop. Using the SurveySwipe smartphone application we will be presenting a mobile survey to shoppers to see where they shop, how much they spend, forms of payment used, what types of items they are purchasing throughout the day, satisfaction levels, concerns about safety and more. The mobile survey will be presented to general population consumers in major US cities including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area. Black Friday shoppers in these areas that download the SurveySwipe app from the App Store or Google Play and complete the survey will receive some extra cash in their pocket as a reward for their time and input. Results from the survey will be published on Monday, December 2nd and throughout next week.
Over the past few years, Black Friday has been receiving a negative spin from the media and general population. One of the big questions on the table for 2013 is how people feel about stores starting Black Friday early and opening the doors for deals and doorbusters on Thanksgiving day (also known as "Gray Thursday"). Although a lot of the population and workers have protested Thanksgiving day shopping, it hasn't stopped them from going out and shopping. An article published this week by the LA times titled "Retailers try to put positive spin on their creep into Thanksgiving" shows that Thanksgiving shopping numbers are on the rise. When retailers opened on Thanksgiving last year, workers protested outside stores and holiday purists grumbled online -- a distracting sideshow in what ultimately proved to be a less-than-robust sales season. Still, 35 million Americans showed up at shops and on websites, a 21% increase from the holiday turnout in 2011.
Other things that have been frowned upon recently for Black Friday are tragic acts of violence costing the lives of others, large crowds gone chaotic and items running out of stock too quickly. Many questions have been raised about safety and the satisfaction of shoppers. Other consumers are opting out of shopping on Black Friday completely. Are shoppers really becoming less pleased with their experiences on Black Friday? How will retailers address these issues in the future? Surveys are conducted every year on Black Friday often after the fact trying to measure shopping behaviors and trends. Highlights from 2012 and predictions for 2013 have been released on thousands of blogs/publications and are trending both in the news and through social media channels. A controversial article released from Venture Beat claims half of US consumers are skipping Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire manufactured shopping orgy.
Using mobile technology on Black Friday presents the opportunity to collect new forms of data that have not been collected in past studies. Using the SurveySwipe mobile app to connect with Black Friday shoppers presents us with an opportunity to capture more accurate data in real-time from real places. We are able to see the location in which survey responses come from to verify that people taking the survey are actually out shopping. Pictures are worth 1,000 words and can be very valuable to research. SurveySwipe can capture multimedia during mobile surveys giving a more interactive user experience. Respondents will also be asked to take or upload photos of the store they are at or an item they purchased during their Black Friday 2013 shopping experience. In online surveys completed after the experience many results are often skewed due to the fact of recall and people forming selective memories. With mobile surveys you have a better chance of capturing people in-the-moment and at the actual point of emotion for a more honest and accurate answer. Mobile surveys present the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction by quickly drawing any concerns and guiding your priorities of items to act on.