A newly released Deloitte Consumer Review reveals that smartphone penetration has grown by more than 14 percent in the United Kingdom, rising from 58 to 72 percent in just 10 months.
According to the report, it was only six years ago that mobile data was limited to activities on mobile porters exclusively available from mobile operators, and until 2007, content providers paid a large share of their revenue to these operators. "The app, a cheap, simple software program, revolutionized that model," the report concludes, "turning the mobile phone into an information and entertainment center. More recently, the convergence of improved connectivity with more powerful and versatile devices, has increased consumers' dependency on their mobile technologies dramatically."
Ian Geddes, Deloitte's head of retail, says 2013 is the year that "mobile moves from a project run by the IT department to a strategic priority in the boardroom."
"There is no doubt that mobile is rapidly redefining the way consumers and brands interact even more than the Internet did," Ben Perkins, head of consumer business research at Deloitte, adds. "Consumers are expecting convenience, simplicity and security in exchange for their loyalty. It is only by embracing mobile's full potential with the right strategy that a consumer-facing business can compete in a mobile-centric world."
Breaking mobile use down by category, the report showed that out of the 1,000 users surveyed, 70 percent use their devices to search for information, 57 percent search for product information specifically, 50 percent buy goods, 42 percent buy services, 46 percent search for and use online vouchers, and 59 percent update social media.
The report cites three factors as the driving forces behind the growth of mobile: 44 percent of users want more apps for daily activities, 40 percent want personalized search results relevant to their location, and 31 percent already use an online wallet.
According to the report, businesses need to adapt to the way consumers are using their smartphones to shop for products and services or simply to interact with brands. Those that can anticipate consumer expectations and develop solutions will be best placed to compete, it concludes.