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New study illustrates American reliance on smartphones

By: capturecode | Jan 10, 2014

Modern American society is growing increasingly hip and tech-savvy, which is a trend that businesses need to adjust to if they want to maximize their mobile consumer engagement opportunities.

Smartphones as a top communication channel among Americans
A new report from Gallup found that half of Americans identify with being either "super tech adopters" or "smartphone reliants." The first category of people are extremely likely to use new technology – 100 percent of them own smartphones, while many have also purchased a laptop, tablet, e-reader, iPod and other such technology. In the second demographic, 93 percent own smartphones although they are slightly less likely to have purchased the other gadgets and gizmos on the list.

"'Smartphone Reliants' represent 19 percent of Americans," John Reimnitz, Gallup Advanced Design and Analytics Specialist, explained. "Their relatively low ownership of iPods, tablets and e-readers suggests they may have chosen to rely on their smartphones for these capabilities."

Smartphone usage is on the rise, there is no denying that fact. One study from Experian Marketing Services found that U.S. consumers spend as much as 58 minutes per day looking at their smartphones, while a presentation from analyst Mary Meeker suggested that people check their phones 150 times per day. Smartphones are not only out there in the hands of customers, they are actively being used as well, BusinessInsider asserted.

The study from Gallup illustrates both the pervasiveness of smartphones among average consumers and the reliance of many prospective customers on these devices. As businesses look to speak to their target audience in a modern and relevant way, it will grow increasingly important to do so in a way that's relevant to them. As of 2014, mobile devices may be that ticket.

Using smartphones effectively to promote products and engage consumers
Although more people are using smartphones to speak with brands, that doesn't mean customers will just download apps because they exist. Entrepreneurs must do their part and provide prospects and existing customers alike with a compelling, valuable mobile experience.

There is no magic recipe or secret formula to creating an app that people will love and use regularly. However, the more value and convenience an app provides to customers, the more likely they'll be to use it. Some of the biggest companies that use apps have achieved success because they understand the needs and desires of their customers and have crafted an application that speaks specifically to them.

For example, Walgreens lets customers fill prescriptions through their mobile apps. Other companies like McDonalds and Starbucks have mobile payment apps that allow people to quickly make purchases while also earning reward points. There are a variety of uses for mobile apps, ranging from alerts and reminders to coupon delivery, so it's important for entrepreneurs to consider how they can bolster mobile consumer engagement in a way that makes sense for their customers and the overall experience.

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