The Tap Economy Part 2: Screen Ecosystems

The Tap Economy

As mobile commerce grows and expands, how should businesses change and adapt to benefit themselves and their customers? Understanding the mobile generation of consumers is vital to ensure goods and services they want to buy are available via their mobile devices.

The tap economy is one of the fastest-growing sectors. From a technology standpoint, the GSMA estimates by 2025, there will be 1.5 billion 5G mobile connections, with Asia and the US driving this growth. For businesses, this potential market expansion for their services can’t be ignored.

As consumers increasingly use a mobile device to manage every aspect of their lives. Businesses and brand managers need to pay close attention to this trend, as research from V12 concludes consumers will now abandon a brand if they have a bad mobile experience.

Consumers also want experiences and not just services. Accenture in their report says: “Companies are figuring out how they can shape the world around people and pick the right moments to offer their products and services. Looking at these companies individually, there is a story of hyper-personalization and on-demand digital services.”

Accenture continues: “But the collective enterprise efforts reveal a fundamental shift in how people will experience the world for generations to come. Soon, each individual will have their own reality, and every moment will represent an opportunity for companies to play a role in shaping it.”

Understanding that the tap economy is focused on the individual is key. According to Adobe: “Personalisation to the individual is the parallel priority, challenging marketers to evolve not only their ability to manage customer data but use it to deliver experiences in real-time that are matched to the consumer and their context. The infrastructure is in place at only 38% of the largest companies, and the strategy to take advantage of fewer still.”

The technology behemoths have shaped the new commercial landscape every other business now inhabits. In a post-digital age, the small screen becomes the focus for consumers who are in constant motion. They demand integrated services they can access seamlessly, as they move from one screen to another. Speed is of the essence in this new mobile commercial space. The fastest wins the lion’s share of consumer spending.

Businesses have had to re-shape themselves. Their digital transformation continues, driven by the need to service their customers and business partners across new channels of communication. The tap economy is now a central component of any commercial development strategy.

Power Users Infographic - RootMetrics, IHS Markit.
Power Users Infographic – RootMetrics, IHS Markit.

Mobile expansion

The report from App Annie contains some highly revealing statistics: 3 hours and 40 minutes per day is now the average time a consumer will spend interacting with their mobile device. In-app spending now contributes 96% of all spending on non-gaming spending.

“The new decade ushers in the next phase of mobile, with smartphones serving as the primary interface through which we interact with the world around us,” the report concludes. “With major players in the industry working together to create IoT standardization, the industry is primed for growth. By 2025, there will be 25.2 billion connected devices, up 177% from 2018.”

Changes to how the digital services that support the tap economy also continue to rapidly evolve. The GSMA concludes: “Multiple groups, besides operators, are targeting enterprise digitisation, including cloud and software-as-a-service companies and systems integrators. For example, for its manufacturing plant upgrade, Ford may look equally to Amazon or Verizon – or perhaps a combination of both. The challenge, therefore, will be to move the conversation about 5G away from technology and towards a consultative mentality of problem-solving.”

Ultimately the winners in the tap economy will be those businesses that can build lasting relationships via the small screen. Adobe advises: “Understanding a person means understanding their context; if you can see the world through their eyes you can predict and serve their needs.

“Managing the customer’s journey has risen to become a top priority for CX leaders. Used in concert with personalisation (a top-three priority for both), journey management allows marketers to influence the process of being a customer, and in a world where instant, responsive service is the standard, it is often the case that the process is the product.”

With Accenture also concluding: “What does ‘post-digital’ mean for companies? Doubling down on completing their digital transformations to get the most value from those investments—and at the same time, turning a strategic eye toward what’s next.

“By moving the company’s focus to targets of opportunity, finding a place among the ecosystems of the post-digital era, and mastering digital investments with an eye toward the post-digital future, leaders will position themselves for success for years to come. Your digitized organization will be the foundation from which you drive all future innovation.”

All business will need to build or expand their tap economy strategy. The small screen will increasingly become the portal consumers and business partners alike will use to buy and communicate.

Silicon in Focus

James Harvey, EMEA CTO, Cisco AppDynamics.

James Harvey, EMEA CTO, Cisco AppDynamics
James Harvey, EMEA CTO, Cisco AppDynamics

As mobile commerce grows and expands how should businesses change and adapt to benefit themselves and their customers?

“Modern technology has transformed our lives, with digital experiences and services becoming a fundamental part of our daily routine. In fact, our research has shown that consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices and the digital services they use.

Mobile devices offer new ways for businesses to reach and interact with their consumers, but it’s vital that they embrace the use of real-time, data-driven insights to drive customer loyalty and improve the online experience. Businesses must pay attention, as consumers now have a near zero-tolerance for anything other than exceptional when it comes to digital experience.

To remain competitive, businesses need to proactively monitor application performance and make enhancements to ensure expectations are met at all times.”

What does the commercial mobile relationship look like?

“Application loyalty is the new brand loyalty. An unresponsive, slow or lagging mobile app can drive customers to switch to a competitor brand or product.

The commercial mobile relationship is therefore finely balanced, in fact, our recent report has shown that in the event of performance issues, British consumers will take decisive action. Over half (54%) would move to a competitor while 64% would actively discourage others from using a service or brand.”

How can the mobile relationship be nurtured?

“Our use of technology is evolving. We used to make a conscious decision to use a particular application or service, now we do so unconsciously. Our mobile devices are firmly embedded in our daily routine – often without even thinking about it.

“Businesses need to keep pace with the competition and their customers to continually drive positive experiences. By focusing on an app-centric approach, and using real-time, data-driven insights, businesses can actively grow customer loyalty to remain competitive.”

Is gaining the attention of consumers across mobile channels more difficult than it has ever been?

“We live in the ‘Era of the Digital Reflex’ where the use of applications and digital services has evolved to become an unconscious extension of human behaviour. Our recent estimate that the average person uses more than 30 digital services on a daily basis. More than half (52%) of Brits would be willing to pay more for an organisation’s product or service if its digital services were better than a competitor.

“Businesses need to deliver a highly-personalised and intuitive digital experience to keep their customers happy and avoid losing customers to more innovative competitors.”

What are the challenges CTOs and CIOs face as the traditional attention mechanism they have used become far less effective?

“CIOs and CTOs must promote a culture where technologists become more effective at enabling digital transformation. They need to equip IT teams with the vision and tools to effect positive change. Our recent Agents of Transformation study found that organisations with teams set up for success in this way would be more successful. Organisations must identify and nurture key technologists before they get demotivated and move elsewhere.

“At the same time, the increasing complexity of customer experience can be daunting – and the stakes have never been higher. Focusing on application performance monitoring, machine learning and effective use of AI is critical to solving this complexity.

“To exceed customer experience expectations, CIOs should implement a robust application performance management solution to monitor digital performance and safeguard the user experience, end to end.”

What does the future of engagement look like across the mobile channels?

“We will see a continued increase in consumer demand for new, intuitive and innovative digital experiences. Both virtual reality (VR) devices and augmented reality (AR) experiences will change the way consumers engage with brands and businesses over the coming years. The customer experience will continue to be redefined by these technologies. As they become widely adopted in new ways by consumers and businesses alike, they offer new ways for businesses to interact with their consumers, providing richer user experience.

“Many businesses are already investing heavily in digital innovation across mobile devices and applications in a bid to drive customer loyalty and revenue, but failure to monitor the performance of these digital applications and services puts them at significant risk of error and then losing those customers. It’s business-critical that companies not only invest in future engagement technology, but also in the technology that provides visibility and control over these innovative digital services and applications.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.