Not just for payments, mobile wallets an underused consumer channel — [survey]

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Mobile wallets: they’re not just for payments anymore. That’s according a new Urban Airship survey of 2,000 adults in the US and UK.

The study sought to explore the “non-payment capabilities” and adoption of mobile wallets as a communication and consumer engagement channel. Urban Airship found that 54 percent of consumers surveyed had used mobile wallets but that their full marketing potential was not being exploited.

The graphic below indicates the gaps between mobile wallet use cases, actual usage, consumer demand and market opportunity:

Mobile wallet adoption Urban Airship

The survey discovered that mobile wallets were becoming a preferred communication and discovery channel for consumers, after websites, email and messaging. And, as other surveys have shown, mobile wallet adoption was highest among Millennials. The survey found that 67 percent of Millennial shoppers had used mobile wallets vs. 51 percent of other users (under 55).

More affluent consumers were also higher on the adoption curve. Urban Airship said that 63 percent of those with household incomes greater than $60,000 had used mobile wallets in the past three months vs. only 39 percent of less affluent consumers. This parallels general new technology adoption trends.

The top three use cases outside of payments were loyalty, coupons and shipping/delivery updates. The survey also found that potential coupon redemption, loyalty program participation and even store visits could all be boosted by mobile wallet integration:

  • 67 percent of U.S. respondents and 58 percent of U.K. respondents are likely to visit a store if they receive coupon expiration reminders when they’re close to a store.
  • 73 percent of respondents are more likely to join a loyalty program if points and rewards are automatically updated and immediately visible on mobile wallet loyalty cards.
  • 84 percent of millennials and 79 percent of respondents with household incomes of $60k+ are more likely to use mobile payments if loyalty rewards and discounts are automatically applied.

I haven’t explored all the survey findings here, but as you can see, they reflect a much larger opportunity for marketers and brands of all kinds to engage consumers effectively using mobile wallets.

The release of the data was intended to coincide with and promote Urban Airship’s updated and rebranded mobile wallet, now called “Urban Airship Reach.”


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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