According to Gartner, mobile users will provide their personal data to more than 100 apps and services every day by 2017. In layman’s terms,that means that you will be sharing your personal information on an app or website roughly twelve times an hour during the workday.Thanks to the rapidly expanding sharing economy, people have easy and immediate access to nearly anything they could need online or on mobile, from car services within minutes to couch surfing.With mobile app downloads projected to total more than 268 billion by the same year, it is clear that these platforms are transforming the way consumers live, and the experiences that they’ve come to expect.
Personalizing Experiences & Leveraging Data
Our generation is used to an on-demand lifestyle, and as consumers are increasingly sharing personal information on mobile apps, they want customized experiences from these platformsin exchange.Thus, apps and services are allowing users to tailor their experience to their specific needs, from incorporating features that benefit individuals – such as calendar integration – to ones that allow us to share our activity with friends on social media. For example, Sosh is a social mobile app enabling members to discover local activities, events and places, and helping people find things to do in their local area with the addition of an integrated social network. Using Sosh, consumers can simply look for a new restaurant, or leverage the platform’s concierge service in order to make a reservation and share it with their friends.
Further, app providers are finding ways to personalize user experiences by offering recommendations based on individual’s past purchases, interests/profile, andactivity history. Amazon pioneered this concept on its website, and apps across all categories – from food delivery on Seamless to TV and movie watching on Netflix – are closely following suit.Like Sosh, Seamless and Netflix, new platforms are emerging everyday and using everything from our geo-location to our social media networks to help personalize our experiences.
According to Gartner’s Brian Blau, “Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers.” But what does this mean for the future? With mobile usersconnecting to more apps and services than ever before, consumers are constantly sharing their personal data, which can be leveraged to enhance the app experience for individuals.Companies now have the ability to collect the data consumers are willingly offering to monitor behavior and ultimately deliver the personalized experiences consumers are looking for.
We live in an ever-evolving digital era where everything from health insurance to Chipotle orders can be taken care of online or on mobile, and there needs to be integration between the two.Consumersare increasingly looking for one-stop shops where they can do more than just order meals or request transportation, but also access information from anywhere, from any device. As a result, we’re seeing more connected and intuitive lifestyle management platforms that offer seamless solutions to everything we do…online and on mobile.
According to a recent report from comScore, PCs and laptops are still the most popular devices used for searching the Internet, so companies behind these solutions are offering web platforms in addition to mobile apps to give consumers access to a variety of features, whether they’re on the move, at work, or at home, syncing user information across channels.Take a company like Disney, who created a mobile application and complementary website, MyDisneyExperience, to help customers research Disney theme parks and plan a trip. Customer details are synced between the app and website to offer suggestions tailored individually, whetheryou’re planning a trip from a home computer or looking for ideas while on vacation on your mobile device, and many other companies are doing the same.
In the future, consumers will only continue to expect tailored, personalized convenience on their lifestyle platforms, as well as multi-channel access, especially as they are sharing more individual data. Looking at the top four lifestyle apps in Apple’s App Store — Ibotta, Wish, eBay and Amazon — all offer online counterparts to their mobile apps, highlighting the success of platforms that give consumers access to multiple channels while personalizing the experience. While it has yet to be seen if Gartner’s predictions for the next few years ring true, if you ask us, companies who leverage consumer data to enhance theoverall user experience, as well as offer synced mobile app and web channels, will continue to dominate in the future.As for the future of personalization, our lifestyle services may start sending us dinner and taxis without us even asking…time will tell.
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