Shopping, TV Will be Mobile Drivers for 2012

Many will (again) predict 2012 to be the year of mobile, but it turns out some of its biggest opportunities will be in complementing other activities, particularly TV viewing and shopping.

Retailers are already seeing value in mobile both from an m-commerce and in-store perspective, as highlighted by strong mobile-related consumer activity over the Thanksgiving weekend. According to predictions from Digitas, that area will see even stronger growth in 2012, though, as both online and brick-and-mortar retailers do their best to enhance consumers’ shopping experiences through tablets and smartphones.

“Retailers are combining the features of e-commerce with the immediate gratification of buying it in-store. More and more shoppers will use their smartphones to support all aspects of their shopping journey,” Chia Chen, the agency’s mobile marketing practice director, forecasted.

SapitentNitro agreed, saying companies should “aim to provide a single, cohesive experience in-store, at home or on the go,” to match consumer behavior and expectation. Its Insights 2012 report, however, suggested the in-store mobile experience still has “great opportunity for improvement.”

In addition, the relationship between mobile and TV continues to strengthen, and marketers are seeing increasing opportunities there, particularly around tablet devices. Digitas estimates 80 percent of smartphone owners use their devices in front of the TV, for example, opening up a range of possibilities for personalized or contextual content and advertising.

“We believe 2012 will be the year that it becomes practical for brands to fully participate in the multi-screen world,” Chen said.

Razorfish appears equally bullish on the relationship between mobile and TV. Speaking with Digiday this month, the firm’s mobile practice lead, Paul Gelb, said it’s seeing “huge opportunities and appetite from advertisers to market to consumers in the context of watching television.”

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