We now live in a mobile-first world. People are rarely without their smartphones, some even choose to sleep with them on. We use them to browse the web, communicate with friends and coworkers, and of course, we use them to shop and buy what we need.

Data shows that more than a third of online payments are now made on a mobile device—and that number is steadily growing. A report from BI Intelligence predicts that in-store mobile payments are set to grow at a 40% five-year CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) to reach 150 million by the end of 2020, a number that represents 56% of the consumer population[i]. It’s estimated that by 2019, almost 200 billion transactions a year will be made via mobile phones and tablets.

Those numbers are staggering.

While the trend of paying via mobile is on the rise, shopping online has become a way of life for many consumers. “Micro-moments,” stemming from the need to learn, do or buy something, have an impact on how a consumer thinks, feels, acts—and, maybe most importantly, on how they make purchases. 66% of smartphone users look up something they saw in a TV commercial, while 82% consult their phones in a store while deciding what to buy[ii].

What does all this mean for brands? Those who are able to capitalize on this mobile-first world will win.

Online community providers must keep up with this trend. Ignoring the increase in mobile use hurts adoption, impacts usage and in turn affects the results of initiatives such as surveys and polls. If less data is collected, the results aren’t as reliable or useful.

Community interface design should be mobile responsive so that all pages and features work with small viewports. This makes community apps easier to use while on the go, from anywhere.

For example, 60 to 70 percent of traffic for FUEL CYCLE’s platform now comes from mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly design helps drive engagement, which in turn yields better results and in the end means greater ROI for brands who work with a company maximizing mobile. FUEL CYCLE’s data shows that member engagement is 40 percent higher when a brand offers a mobile app option for its community.

The main advantage of a mobile app is that it allows brands to get true in-the-moment feedback from customers, versus waiting for them to get home to answer a post-purchase survey. It also provides a brand-controlled environment where customers can provide positive and negative feedback directly to the brand, instead of posting it on social media, where it can go viral.

One real-world example of how a mobile option can drive engagement is how AIG used FUEL CYCLE’s platform to develop a new online community called AIG Connections. The objective for AIG with the new community was to speed up its insight-generation efforts. The all-in-one platform enabled AIG to rapidly set up an environment where its team could engage with high-value consumers wherever they are. With the branded mobile app, AIG members can participate in almost any type of community activity on any device. Now customers can provide feedback in the moment instead of waiting until they get home to take a survey or to post photos or comments. The outcome? AIG saw a 70% reduction in research delivery time.

If community platforms don’t keep up, they risk losing out on gathering valuable insights from members. With a mobile-friendly platform, not only will more data be gathered, the data will be more reliable.



[i] https://letstalkpayments.com/we-live-in-a-mobile-first-world/

[ii] https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/4-new-moments-every-marketer-should-know.pdf