Mobile-Fueled Valuation: Uber at $40B?

Julie Ask

I am not a financial analyst so will not speak to the specifics on the $40B.

 

Uber isn’t a mobile app service. (I heard a taxi driver call them “app cars”) Uber is a business enabled by mobile.

 

Mobile changes consumer expectations of convenience along three dimensions:

 

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Mobile Is The Future Of Indian Commerce; Is Your Business Ready?

Katyayan Gupta

Indian consumers are more likely to own a mobile phone and use it to access the Internet than own a PC or laptop and use a wired Internet connection. The stats speak for themselves: As of September 2014, India has more than 930 million wireless subscribers against just 27 million wireline subscribers. And while just 8% of these 957 million subscribers have a broadband connection (with download speeds of 512 kbps or better), fully 80% of them are mobile users.

This is leading to the mobile mind shift: the expectation that consumers can get what they want in their immediate context and moments of need. This trend is particularly evident in retail; today’s consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to accomplish a variety of shopping-related tasks online – from researching a product to buying it.

Forrester has developed a global retail segmentation framework to identify, assess, and compare the behaviors of shoppers in various countries. Five segments identify the most prevalent and regular shopper behaviors (see figure below). According to this framework, 6% of metro Indian online users fall into the Mobile Shoppers segment. In comparison, only 4% of online users in the US are Mobile Shoppers! Even the percentage of Super-Shoppers in India is more than twice that in the US.

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Mobile Laggards Beware - Google Is Exposing Your Shortcomings

Peter Sheldon

This week Google started promoting mobile optimized websites in their search results:

Frankly I'm amazed it's taken Google this long to implement, however for mobile users it's a welcome addition to the search experience that alleviates the pain of clicking on a link only to find a desktop site at the other end. Now the consumer is in control and armed upfront with a Google endorsement of mobile readiness. This strategy is part of an evolution of preemptive warnings for mobile search users. Earlier this year Google started warning mobile users of destinations using Flash or destinations with broken links that would result in a re-direction to the destination homepage

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The Digital Store Platform Will Support The Retail Store Of The Future

Adam Silverman

The in-store shopping experience is increasingly being transformed into a digitally enhanced experience for both the customer and retailer. Technologies such as beacons, retail store analytics, and store fulfillment programs are rapidly changing the definition of how a retail store operates and engages with customers. While 68% of customers use a mobile device while in a store, retailers are just beginning to take an active role in that in-store digital experience.

Forrester believes that, in the future, retail stores that drive convenience, service, and relevant personalized experiences through the use of digital store technology will succeed. Why? Because today. customers show an affinity for digital store technology. In fact, 66% of luxury apparel customers are more likely to shop with a digitally-enabled associate. Those retailers who wait on the sidelines are at risk of maintaining the status quo and may only grow marginally.

In 2015, Forrester predicts that:

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Insurers Will Pour Capital Into New Digital Innovation Ventures In 2015

Ellen Carney

Think that insurance is a sleepy industry? Think again.  In 2014, global insurance companies raced to out-innovate each other. They turned to new digital innovations to fend off threats from insurance start-ups like MetroMile and PolicyGenius and sorted out new ways to remain relevant as a host of well-known brands like Google and AT&T crept into realms historically owned by insurance firms.   We noted this innovation urgency among European and North American insurance firms earlier this year.

In casting an eye forward, we predicted seven events that would change the insurance landscape in 2015. A major force informing all seven predictions is the fact that smart insurers are recognizing that in the need to generate more good ideas faster, they have to radically change how they develop and execute new thinking. That means that insurers need to short cut the industry’s traditional “we’ll build and control” culture and instead go into the market, spot a hot business technology start-up that brings a lot of what’s needed to create a minimum viable product, and partner with them. And the smartest of the smart insurers are employing two unique industry forces—a very regular flow of premiums and the dynamics of equity markets— to get even closer to the source of new ideas:  By investing in them. In 2015, we’ll see more insurance venture capital startups form in the wake of similar VC business launches from insurers like American Family, AXA, MassMutual, and Transamerica.

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US Mobile Payments Will Reach $142B By 2019

Denée Carrington

The media frenzy around mobile payments — most recently Apple Pay — has reached fever pitch and led some industry spectators to conclude that a payments revolution is at hand. Not so. The adoption of mobile payments is an evolution — not a revolution — and the evolution is well underway. Although the landscape of mobile payment providers is in an ongoing state of flux, the ecosystem and mobile capabilities are maturing and consumer and merchant adoption is accelerating.  Over the next five years, US mobile payments will grow from $52 billion in 2014 to $142 billion by 2019 with both national brands and local merchants.  Over the next five years, we can expect: 

  • Consumers undergoing a mobile mind shift will create new mobile moments in commerce. Over the last five years, US consumers have adopted smartphones at a breakneck pace – growing from just 19% in 2009 to 66% in 2014.As consumers integrate mobile into every aspect of their lives, they are turning to their mobile devices to get things done wherever they are. Consumers are undergoing a mobile mind shift: “the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need. Their increasing reliance on their mobile phones gives rise to higher expectations — it has ushered in the emergence of mobile moments in which businesses can find new opportunities to meet or surpass customer expectations in payments and commerce.
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Ready to Write Your Digital Strategy? Read This First.

Who Does Mobile Commerce Well?

Sucharita  Mulpuru

As mobile becomes a critical component of your digital strategy and overall business, eBusiness professionals should have an answer when their executive teams ask, “Who does mobile commerce well?” Forrester has answered that question for you in our new report published today.  Using a proprietary framework, we analyzed top retailers’ mobile experiences (sites and apps) and measured how well they addressed key challenges to mobile commerce sales and supported mobile-enabled commerce in other channels. We selected the best of the best for our review to highlight the strongest functionality and uncover cross-category best practices.

Our framework evaluates the strengths of these mobile phone websites and their corresponding apps across six elements:

  • Findability. The ease of finding a mobile site or app altogether.
  • Utility. How useful the site or app is for shoppers.
  • Searchability. How well search and search functionality like predictive text works on mobile phones.
  • Browsability. How easy it is to browse the retailer’s mobile site or app.
  • Buyability. How easy and frictionless the buying process is on the mobile site or app.
  • Overall design. The ease of navigating content on mobile sites and apps, as well as other mobile content that shoppers engage with including email and text messages.
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The Truth About Showrooming

Adam Silverman

As we enter the 2014 holiday season, retail news outlets are latching on to dramatic headlines highlighting the risk of showrooming - the act of checking prices on a mobile device in a store and then purchasing at another retailer. Yes it’s true; customers use their mobile phones to compare prices in-stores. However the behavior of shopping multiple stores to find the lowest price is nothing new. My grandmother often "showroomed" a bag of peanuts at the farmers market just to save a few cents.  I suspect this behavior has been occurring as long as humans have been bartering goods.

 

While the behavior is not new, mobile phones have enabled customers to compare prices immediately across a vast set of digital retailers.  As mobile phones afford customers greater choice in-aisle, showrooming has instilled fear in legacy retail organizations who quickly realized they no longer completely control the experience in their stores.  At first, retailers responded with force by removing Wi-Fi, which in a world with rich cellular connectivity did little to curb showrooming behavior. Today retailers are reacting to showrooming by providing margin-eroding offers in-aisle. In the future, advanced retailers will begin to embrace showrooming, using the signals from price-checking on mobile phones (either by observing behavior or using retail store analytics) to offer greater convenience and rich experiences at the customer’s moment of need.

 

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What Retailers Can Take Away From Singles’ Day Binge

Vanessa Zeng

The two most noteworthy recent events in China are obviously the APEC Summit and the Singles’ Day shopping festival. Since its creation five years ago, Singles’ Day has become the online shopping feast that almost every Chinese consumer expects.

The shopping event was created by Alibaba in 2009 as a promotion to drive sales on Tmall and Taobao on the November 11 Singles’ Day holiday. Alibaba uses the event to reward consumers and reinforce its eCommerce influence in the Chinese market. Now the most influential eCommerce event in China, Singles’ Day is no longer Alibaba’s monopoly — almost all e-tailers and even offline retailers are getting involved.

Compared with past years, the Singles’ Day 2014 campaign has several new features:

  • Global reach. Top eCommerce players such as Alibaba, Amazon, Jingdong, and Suning have all announced “globalization” plans and activities around this year’s event; these plans include offering a broad selection of discounted products, preferential tax rates, free or low-cost international shipping, and speedy delivery.
  • Big data. According to Alizila, Alibaba will apply predictive analysis to Tmall transaction data to project order volume. The Cainiao smart logistics network and its delivery partners can use this information to allocate resources and respond to demand more precisely.
  • Interactions between online and offline. To expand the impact of online retail to offline businesses, Alibaba conducted offline-to-online promotional activities for home renovation and home decoration projects. It also rallied more than 300 department stores in 18 cities to join the event by offering special discounts to shoppers who buy store-value cards online and use them to redeem goods in physical stores.
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