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Daily Review: The Rise of a Mobile-Dominant Business Strategy

A significant part of the global population lives in a mobile-first world, consuming or at least performing a research on a range of services and products on smartphones. Moreover, very successful alternatives to conventional banks are mobile-only and over a third of global online transactions are now mobile. In addition, ~90% of mobile data traffic will be from smartphones by the end of 2021.

Not only do mobile technology and mobile-centricity overall play a significant role in democratizing financial services, they also fuel stronger engagement and loyalty. A study by Google called How People Use Their Devices suggests that more than one in four users only use a smartphone in an average day – almost twice as many as those who only use a computer. Moreover, the study indicated that smartphones take up the most usage time on an average day – those who use a smartphone spend almost three hours per day on it.

In lieu with these findings, Nitish Jain, Assistant Professor of Management Science & Operations at London Business School, emphasizes in its recent article that mobile-mobile has emerged as the third engagement channel along with traditional PC-online and offline.

Mobile is not just another traditional online channel. Its ubiquitous access, ability to track consumers closely and small-size constraints make it distinct. Managers need to know how a consumer behaves differently when they shop on mobile versus when they shop on more conventional online channels such as the PC. – Nitish Jain, Assistant Professor of Management Science & Operations at London Business School

Pick #1. You Don’t Know Your Customer (Unless You’ve Mastered Mobile)

Firms must shape their strategies to maximize the potential of PC-online, offline and mobile-online, Nitish Jain, Assistant Professor of Management Science & Operations at London Business School, believes. Our behavior on mobile is different from that on desktop computers and other larger devices. A mobile-dominant future demands a mobile-specific strategy.

Mobile gives you almost 24/7 access. You can search for whatever you desire multiple times a day. In other words, it’s easier to search for longer. In contrast, a PC offers a static environment that constrains your ability to search for longer periods.

Mobile affords you more time to search and therefore, a larger search budget. But the device is small. You can only evaluate a few products at a time. – Nitish Jain, Assistant Professor of Management Science & Operations at London Business School

This makes searching inefficient and pushes up the search cost. The combination of the two – having a large search budget and a high search cost – determines the type of products customers pick: niche or popular.

In the offline world, 20% of products typically accounted for 80% of sales. But with the advent of online markets, retail sales became more distributed and niche products became more popular. – Nitish Jain, Assistant Professor of Management Science and Operations at London Business School

This shift from bestsellers to niche is known as the long-tail effect. Online search functionality gave consumers the ability to hunt for exactly what they wanted. Unique became the name of the game: the top 20% of products accounted for much less than the usual 80% of share.

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Pick #2. Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase Buys Earn.Com for a Reported $100M and Adds Key Executive

Digital currency exchange Coinbase made a deal to buy Earn.com, which lets users send & receive digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks. As part of the acquisition, the crypto company will bring on Earn’s Founder & CEO as its first-ever CTO. One key appeal aside from the new hire is Earn’s real-world use case. Many platforms in the cryptocurrency space, at the moment are hypothetical. Earn, which was originally backed by Andreessen Horowitz, and Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss, can compensate users in any country for replying to an email or completing a simple task, even if they don’t have a bank account.

Coinbase has been busy on acquisition front. On Friday, the company announced a deal to buy mobile app browser and wallet for the Ethereum blockchain called Cipher Browser. Earlier in April, Coinbase announced a new incubator fund for early-stage startups called Coinbase Ventures.

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