This week, the mobile enterprise learns how to enhance the mobile experience for consumers, understands the state of the American mobile marketplace and schedules their time on paper.

For companies that are using mobile devices to enhance their shopping experience, OpinionLab, the VOC listening solutions provider, has a few tips. Today, it unveiled five tips to help retailers engage with consumers via smartphones. Among its tips were three in particular that we considered to be most important.

  • Embrace product reviews and demos: Recent studies have indicated that consumers trust recommendations from people they know, making peer reviews and testimonials more useful than ever. OpinionLab encourages companies to make reviews and demos easy to access, or by linking to reviews through QR codes on store displays and including store-made videos showing products in use.
  • Use games to engage and reward loyal customers: The gamification of the enterprise has been a popular topic lately. OpinionLab suggests that companies enhance loyalty programs by adding social elements, such as invitations to shoppers to compare points with others or introduce customers via Twitter, or by integrating NFC or mobile geolocation technology in with such promotions to push special offers to consumers who take certain actions.
  • Always be listening: OpinionLab thinks that giving consumers 24/7 access to customer service through their mobile devices and leveraging the power of social media to respond to questions and service inquiries via Twitter and Facebook is critical to enhancing their customer experiences.

Mobile Marketplace Thrives with Choice, Competition

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its 15th Annual Mobile Wireless Competition Report, which presents findings regarding the state of competition in the mobile services marketplace. The report reveals that the mobile marketplace is thriving and alive with competition, choice and innovation.

  • The total revenue generated by the mobile wireless industry is substantial, approximately $154.7 billion in service revenues in 2009, and has been growing consistently.
  • According to the FCC report, 92% of Americans have a choice of wireless broadband providers and 82% have at least three options for mobile Internet.
  • The number of mobile devices that American have to choose from has increased. In four years, the FCC states that the number of wireless handset makers in the U.S. market rose from 8 to 21.
  • The FCC reports that U.S. consumers now have access to nearly 1 million mobile apps from 26 competing app stores. Additionally, Americans now spend more time using apps than browsing the Internet.

Schedule This: Paper v. Web-Based Calendars

Just as we were surprised to learn that most online readers share information via email, we were also shocked to learn that 87% of Internet users who use a calendar don’t always do so in a digital way -- in other words, paper calendars are still being used. No, really.

The folks at Doodle, an online scheduling providers, asked about 530 of their users and 2,000 regular Internet users about the how, what and why they use the calendar platform of their choice.

In a world where the enterprise is busier than ever, an average Internet user has 5.7 appointments in an average week. Half of users have one to four appointments, and 41% have five or more appointments in an average week, while a blissful 9% don’t have any. So how do you keep track of so many appointments?

  • 49% of Internet users said they used a paper calendar as their main calendar while only 21% of the Doodle users said that this was the case with them.
  • 12.9% don’t use a calendar at all, while 15.2% use two or more calendars at the same time. In France, 23% of Internet users don’t have a calendar.
  • Germans (60%) and women in general (62%) are more likely to use a paper calendar as their main calendar. Americans (7% compared to 2.6% of the Germans) and younger people (6.6%) are more likely to choose a Web-based calendar and younger people lead the way in having their main calendar on a mobile device (27%).

Of those using electronic, Web-based, or mobile calendars, only 30% are happy with them and don’t think that they need additional features. The rest have a few ideas about the kinds of functionality they’d like to see added.

Features that electronic or Web-based calendars should offer in addition to what they do today

Features that electronic or Web-based calendars should offer in addition to what they do today

As for time spent scheduling and organizing one’s calendar, Doodle reports that people spend 10.6 minutes per day on keeping their calendars updated and 8.4 minutes per day on coordinating meetings with others.