After speaking with more than 1,000 mobile phone consumers worldwide, Oracle recently released information about how people today use mobile devices for both shopping and commerce-related activities, as well as what they hope to do with mobile devices in the future.

 In the study, it became apparent that consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices to undertake both comparisons and research before purchasing any products or services (48%). One of the main findings in the survey was that the 35- to 54-year-old segment is the age group with the fastest rate of growth in terms of researching and transacting online.

 While the 18-to-34 segment still dominates largely for actual use, the usage in the 35-to-54 bracket nearly tripled.

For those older than 35, it was twice as likely they would leverage a mobile device to research products and services than for those in the younger range (growing from 19% to 36% for users aged 55 and older, and 23% to 44% for those aged 35 to 54 from the previous year’s research).

In addition, more than twice as many consumers aged 35 and older have made a purchase via a mobile phone since 2009. Encouraging!? 

The younger generation is more likely to churn, so failing to personalise or make things relevant to their needs and/or desires decreases the likelihood they’ll stay. Rather than compete with products and services alone, operators need to embrace the idea that customers want their telecom providers to give them the same type of attention and personal experience they get in other industries.

This, in turn, leads us to believe the older age range is likely to be more loyal, providing we give them:

  1. Relevance.

  2. Quality.

  3. A good user experience. 

For newsmedia companies, this is a key understanding when thinking about our traditional print audiences and their digital transition.

Finally, some recent key/interesting mobile industry stats:

  • 2012 will see the number of mobile devices in use at 6.8 billion, i.e. more mobiles than people for the first time ever.

  • The UK's YouGov research says there are currently 55 million ads worldwide (at Jan 2012). 

  •  Apple sold more iPhones in 2011 than they did in 2007-10 combined.

And very noteworthy...

  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) “Three Device Lives” survey 2012 shows 70% of iPad users read newspapers on their tablet.
Be encouraged. Be very encouraged!