Emerging market consumers want better access to health, finance and education services via their mobile
June 2nd 2014. Following Samsung’s launch of its first Tizen (see our Tizen 101) smartphone (Samsung Z), which many have speculated will be targeted squarely at emerging markets, new research from mobile marketing specialists Upstream has found that consumers in developing markets are calling for the handset to more readily provide relevant, localised content and services as well as more appropriate payment mechanics and pricing models. Upstream’s new research, which polled the views of a representative sample of 4,504 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam in conjunction with analyst house Ovum, features in its latest report entitled The Next Mobile Frontier.
The findings show that over a third of consumers (35 per cent) in these countries find content typically too expensive to buy over their mobile and reveal that as many as a fifth (21 per cent) don’t possess the credit card or debit card details required to make purchases.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of consumers in these markets said that they also currently find it difficult to source the content they are looking for on the portals and app stores available to them over their smartphones.
Many lamented a total lack of accessibility with a fifth (20 per cent) of respondents claiming that content is often not in their local language.
Marco Veremis, CEO, Upstream, commented, “The launch of Tizen on Samsung handsets provides an exciting proposition for emerging market consumers, where accessibility to truly localised content and appropriate payment mechanics could at last become a reality.”
“As handset manufacturers search for the most effective means of capturing brand loyalty of developing markets, they would do well to seriously assess whether the Western models used to disseminate content and services to consumers equates to fitting a round peg through a square hole.”
Veremis added, “Samsung may well consider working with mobile network operators, who can provide a new way for emerging market consumers to access and pay for the content they require, using their pre-paid phone credit they on their handset.”
The results of the research additionally hinted to Samsung and its competitors the types of content consumers in emerging markets would like to access on their smartphone, looking at what content and services they currently use their handsets for as well as what they would like to access more in the future.
Consumers were found to currently be using their smartphones to access social networking content and apps most, with 82 per cent of respondents doing this.
Further to this 81 per cent are using their smartphone to access music apps and content, 78 per cent for news and 65 per cent for gaming.
While these figures may well correspond with the West’s use of handsets, research also revealed that emerging market consumers would like to use their smartphone for a number of other reasons in the future.
Most popularly, over half (54 per cent) of emerging market consumers would like better access to information and services pertaining to health care. In addition, 44 per cent would like better access to education apps and services, 43 per cent want better access business and financial services apps and 43 per cent to travel services.
Veremis added, “For many consumers in emerging markets, mobile handsets remain the only interactive medium for them to engage with.
“For this reason it comes as little surprise that they want their phones to open up a whole host of content to them – perhaps placing greater emphasis on their need for the mobile channel to offer them a range of services.”
“For this reason, Mobile Network Operators will be the catalysts and key beneficiaries of a data revolution in emerging markets, both becoming the prime avenue for consumer billing and unlocking a new world of content customers are looking for as their mobile consumption grows.”
The ’Next Mobile Frontier Report’ is a custom consumer study led by Ovum on behalf of Upstream. The survey covered 4,504 consumers, with nationally representative samples in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Vietnam. The survey fieldwork was carried out between 31st January-14th February 2014.
Upstream is one of the largest marketing technology and solutions providers in the world and a pioneer and innovator in the industry.