- Commuters not only use smartphones to show the quickest way to work, but they also are spending more commuting time using their mobile devices to shop and order food ahead, among other activities, according to a survey from mobile agency Fetch that it shared with Mobile Marketer. About two thirds (62%) of commuters said they spend more time checking email than they did two years ago, making it the most popular smartphone activity.
- Almost half (43%) of commuters said they use a smartphone for shopping and ordering food more than they did two years ago. Other popular activities include checking social media (59%), listening to music (58%), reading the news (50%) and playing games (47%).
- The most commonly used apps during a daily commute are social media (used daily by 66% of commuters), video (45%), music and podcast (47%) and city transit agency apps (28%). Fetch last month surveyed 1,700 U.S. commuters, who are defined as individuals who don't rely solely on personal means of transportation for their daily commute.
Fetch's study of the "mobile-first commute" shows just how much smartphones and apps have transformed the daily commute and opened up new opportunities for marketers. Brands can now engage with consumers through ads and mobile commerce on social media, news apps, on-demand videos, games and podcasts while they make the trek to the office via trains, buses, subways, ferries, taxis and ride-share vehicles.
With these results in mind, marketers could try to understand how their customers use mobile devices during a commute and develop strategies that have the most effect on lifting awareness and driving transactions. They can, for example, use geo-location data to "breadcrumb" messages sequentially as people travel to and from work. Commuting time is a prime opportunity for marketers to reach audiences on a regular and recurring basis, per Fetch.
While content consumption is very popular, commerce-related activities like mobile shopping and ordering food ahead are rising. With a broader rollout of faster 5G mobile technology, marketers will have a more robust channel to support interactions with consumers. Marketers need to evaluate their app strategies to inspire customers while also driving them toward a purchase. Budding technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can also help marketers of travel services like ride-hailing deliver greater personalization and convenience while also boosting awareness and usage, Fetch noted.