Last week, ReadWriteWeb cited some findings from a recent study on smartphone use conducted by Web analytics firm Compete. The study indicates 74% of smartphone owners use their phones for more personal than professional reasons.
The study also concluded that a large number of smartphones don't even leave owners' homes. When these smartphones are taken out of the home, the majority of owners use them to perform comparison shopping and read product reviews. Compete also discovered that:
...more than 35% of consumers with smartphones would be interested in receiving coupons on their devices. Another 29% would like to be able to scan barcodes with their phones and get more information about the product as well as access to coupons and other promotions.
Since 21% of respondents indicated they would like to get SMS alerts with promotions when they walk by a store, and 15% would like to receive ads via SMS, it's reasonable to conclude that location-aware ads are something marketers should invest resources into.
According to a recent Juniper Research report, mobile location-based services are estimated to reach $12.7 billion by 2014. The opportunity to use location-based services to support cross-channel strategies is something retailers should want to leverage to further support the ability to reach consumers anytime, anywhere.
However, as ReadWriteWeb reports, the smartphone platform needs to evolve more to allow for location-aware promotions to take place.
...most modern smartphones don't allow developers to create these kind of applications. The iPhone, for example, doesn't (yet) allow developers to run application in the background, which would be necessary if a developer wanted to create a service that could send out ads via SMS based on your location.
In January we discussed the opportunities for cross-channel enablement that location-based promotions or rewards could bring to commerce. It will be interesting to monitor future development of smartphone technology to see how it will meet the evolving needs of users who want "on the spot" information about a product or service, and how retailers can entice that interest with "just-in-time, location-based promotions or rewards."