We are nearing the final weeks of 2017, which is a perfect time to reflect on recent mobile trends in our society. Mobile app usage continues to rise, with user bases expanding and more apps being developed. Even industries that have traditionally struggled in mobile, such as e-commerce, have experienced increased usage as demonstrated by Cyber Money and Black Friday shopping. This year's statistics show the value of mobile apps heading into 2018. ComScore released their annual mobile app report a few months ago, so we thought we would make the information easy to digest with a handy infographic.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday set mobile shopping records
It’s Tuesday, November 28, and the internet can finally take a much-deserved break from the hectic (extended) weekend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday — two of the most significant shopping days in North America — have officially concluded and the numbers prove just how much we love our shopping. As of last night at 10 pm eastern time, online sales from Monday alone reached 6 billion dollars, and that’s only online! Forbes has already stated that Cyber Monday became the single largest online shopping day in U.S. history. Also, Thanksgiving day saw 2.87 billion and Black Friday 5.03 billion in online sales.
All of this is great. People are avoiding the annual Wal-Mart boxing match by doing their shopping online. Online shopping is relaxing and stress-free. When you shop online or on your phone, you don’t have to deal with other shoppers fighting for breathing space. Buying online means buying in comfort, and this has never been easier with retailers focusing on developing sound e-commerce websites and mobile apps.
Mobile, which has traditionally been a place that’s seen e-commerce graveyards, made a statement over the weekend. Smartphone revenue grew 32.2 percent from last year, reaching $1.59 billion, a new all-time high. Overall, mobile represented 47.4 percent of visits (39.9 percent smartphones, 7.6 percent tablets) and 33.1 percent of revenue (24.1 percent smartphones, 9.0 percent tablets) (via Forbes). For purchases made on smartphones, Apple iOS led with average orders ringing in $123, in comparison to Google Android at $110.
What this means for the future of mobile shopping
The stats don’t lie. People are becoming more and more comfortable completing shopping orders on their smartphones and this means that e-commerce companies cannot solely rely on a desktop website to maximize the customer experience. If a company chooses to focus on a mobile-responsive website or mobile app, they first need to consider the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
Speed: Make sure your website is fast. There is nothing worse than trying to shop on your phone with an excellent WiFi connection only to sit waiting for the browser to load. If a user is waiting for more than a few seconds, chances are you’ve lost that potential customer. In a previous blog post, we stated that “mobile pages that are 1 second faster experience up to 27% increase in conversion rate.” With online sales on the rise, now is the perfect time to invest in a speedy website.
Alternatively, investing in a mobile app will put the speed problem behind you. Mobile apps are far faster than websites as their data and information are stored right on the phone. With web pages, the products and data have to be pulled from the browser. Further, if you invest in a high-quality mobile app, you should be able to offer offline support so users can build their shopping cart without wifi, and complete the order when they have a connection.
UI/UX: You’ve managed to get the user to your online store, good. Assuming your website speed is in check, now you need to ensure you have the optimal user interface and user experience. To start, make sure your website is mobile-responsive! It’s 2017 for goodness sake. If you expect to get online sales via smartphones with a non-adaptive page, you’re in for a sad awakening. Some things to consider: What is the landing page? How does a user navigate between items and their shopping cart? Does my shopping experience include unnecessary clicks? It helps to imagine the process a shopper would go through from start to finish. If you optimize your mobile experience, you increase your chances of that user coming back for more shopping in the future.
Case Study: From social media to the online store
Social is one of best ways of getting users to access your mobile store. Why? The user is most likely already on their smartphone, making the transition to a website easy. Paid ads can be set up that promote a sale or product and easily transition the user from the social platform to the online store with minimal clicks.
On Cyber Monday, I experienced this situation first hand. On my way to work in the morning, I was scrolling through Instagram only to come across an ad from Peace Collective, a Toronto-based clothing company. From Instagram, Peace Collective caught my interest promoting their massive one day sale. When I clicked on the ad, I was directed to a first-class mobile experience. Peace Collective’s mobile interface is extremely easy to navigate, it only took me a few clicks to confirm my order, size, etc. Their mobile pages are full of eye-catching graphics, and make it simple to filter products according to individual needs. Peace Collective understands how valuable the user experience is, especially when pulling your customers from social media. In the end, I purchased a sweater on their mobile store for just $15 (with free shipping) and even recommended Peace Collective to my friends later that evening.
Mobile Shopping Heading into 2018
If your mobile sales aren’t even near your desktop sales, consider investing time and money into a sound mobile UI/UX. We can expect that 2018 will see continued mobile e-commerce growth, especially as companies recognize the significance of the user experience. Don’t fall behind in the mobile trends, make sure you optimize your mobile e-commerce website before it’s too late!
On November 18, 2017, The Polygon Gallery opened its doors to their highly anticipated gallery. Located in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, the 25,000 square foot facility is said to be Western Canada’s most extensive photography focused gallery. The new opening marks a shift for North Vancouver’s historic gallery. Formerly called the Presentation House Gallery, the new location provides a unique visitor experience to Lonsdale Quay. Thanks to the generous support from BMO, admission is by donation — forever — and open to their members and the public.
MULTIMEDIA GALLERY EXPERIENCE
Polygon didn’t stop at opening a new location and rebranding their name; with the opening of their gallery also comes a new mobile app! Available for both iPhone and Android, the mobile app is free to download to the public. The app is perfect for first time visitors and longtime fans. In addition to standard gallery information — hours of operation, location, and general info — the app provides a new multimedia gallery experience. The mobile experience is available whether a user visits the gallery or not. By downloading the app, users have access to THE POLYGON OUTSIDE, the Gallery's platform for newly-commissioned digital artist projects. The first series of these interactive audio-visual projects animate sites along the North Shore Spirit Trail, a fully accessible greenway that will extend from Horseshoe Bay all the way to Deep Cove. The artworks hosted on this mobile app can provide a unique perspective on the history of their particular site. The multimedia experience can be further enhanced with active beacon support. Users can visit the gallery and receive app updates with audio, video, and extra content. So when visitors walk towards a piece of art, a notification pops up with relevant info. When visitors move to a different piece of art, a new update is provided. NOTE: Polygon's beacon support will be available early 2018.
As expected, the mobile app provides content and information about the ongoing exhibitions taking place at The Polygon. Currently, Polygon is displaying The North Vancouver exhibition until April 30, 2018. The gallery brings together more than 15 regional artists, mainly working in photography, to present pieces on the theme of the exhibit and North Vancouver’s history. The Polygon doesn't just display amazing artwork, they also host educational events and gatherings. With the mobile app, users can stay up to date with the latest events at The Polygon. When the user finds an event they’re interested in, they can use the app to add it to the native calendar on their phone, and schedule notifications to remind themselves. The Polygon’s first educational event is one hour lecture on “archaeology of the final decade” offered by Vali Mahlouji and is free to attend by the public. Download the app to learn more.
EASY TO UPDATE MOBILE APP
Polygon’s app is powered by 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Software. Info Grove is a self-managed mobile app software used by organizations, governments, and businesses across North America. By using 14 Oranges’ cloud-hosted backend content management system (CMS), Polygon’s non-technical staff can log into the backend and make changes in the app with ease. As new exhibitions arrive and new events occur, they’ll be able to update content with simple drag and drop mechanisms, and content input tools. All of their buttons, images, and content can be changed in seconds.
With Info Grove, Polygon staff can send push notifications to both gallery members and the public to inform about news, emergencies, and info. Most significant, The Polygon can make push notifications highly targeted. For example, some material may only be relevant to their members and therefore the general public would not be notified. The Polygon app also has links to their social media handles (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) so users can locate the latest updates in real-time. Polygon's decision to build an app is very timely, as mobile app usage rises year after year. If email is preferred, users can choose to subscribe to the Polygon newsletter with the app and receive monthly updates.
The Polygon will be able to use the app as a revenue generator. The highly customizable software allows staff to add banner advertisements on certain (or all) pages within the app. The banners can link users to external URLs and provide call-to-actions for users.
INFO GROVE FOR GALLERIES, MUSEUMS, AND ZOOS
Info Grove is highly customizable to any gallery, museum, or zoo. All logos, graphics, fonts, and content can be unique to any gallery who wants to enhance the visitor experience. Deploying active beacons for a complete mobile experience is simple. Contact 14 Oranges today to find a solution for your gallery!
The Entrepreneurial and Development Conference and Expo, or EDCE, is Canada’s only national conference for small business owners. By entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, EDCE provides real world applicable content with keynotes from international business experts. A complete business development conference, EDCE offers tools in sales, marketing, social media, business growth, financing, and strategy; making EDCE Canada’s #1 business conference, tradeshow, and networking event for business owners & executives.
So you’re attending the conference on November 18, but what should you expect?
Speakers– Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Politicians, Emmy Award Winners, & much more.
1.SUSAN SOLOVIC – Emmy Award Winner/ Best Selling Author
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, media personality, and attorney. Susan has spoken to thousands of small and mid-sized businesses around the globe and helped many build multi-million dollar businesses with her proven strategies from the trenches.
2.BRIAN BOWMAN – Mayor, Winnipeg
Think managing a business is difficult, try a city! Mayor Bowman, former chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, has proven his ability to promote economic growth with active business development strategies. Brian Bowman can turn vision into action, which has had a positive impact for the City of Winnipeg.
3.Sylvain Marcotte – CEO & Founder, 14 Oranges Software
Our very own Sylvain Marcotte started 14 Oranges back in 2009 as a weekend side job. Fast forward two years and 14 Oranges is an award winning mobile app company providing mobile applications across North America. 14 Oranges now provides applications for large governments such as the City of Surrey and City of Richmond, and major U.S. associations. Sleepless nights paid off for Sylvain and 14 Oranges, be sure to catch his story at EDCE Winnipeg.
Valuable, pitch-free content—the EDCE Trademark.
With over 20 seminars and workshops to offer over Nov 18-19, you’re sure to sharpen your skills in social media, sales, marketing, funding, and more. Each session is educational and provides tools and knowledge that will help you grow your business.
EDCE content will keep you educated on the latest insights to help your business achieve maximum return on investment. Attendees include business professionals, managers, presidents, and entrepreneurs. Each attendee will leave with skills that they can apply the very next day!
First Class Experience
Welcomed with open arms and big smiles, EDCE Winnipeg provides a second to none experience for motivated professionals.
Mobile App – With the EDCE mobile app, attendees will have all the weekend’s information in the palm of their hands. With speaker bios, conference schedule, and tradeshow items, the mobile app is every attendee’s personal guide for the weekend. Make sure you download the EDCE for iPhone or Android before you attend!
Networking – Meet potential customers, vendors, friends, and colleagues at EDCE Winnipeg that will help grow your business. The event schedule and conference will allow you to maximize your time networking and meet the people who are important to you.
Trade Show– Whether you leave buying a new product or not, each exhibit and sponsor will keep you up to date with emerging technologies and trends. According to EDCE, “91% of attendees say they get the most useful buying info from conferences and 81% say that conferences help them become aware of new products and services.” Be sure to stop by 14 Oranges’ product booth to learn more about Info Grove Mobile Applications.
From everyone at 14 Oranges Software, we look forward to seeing you on November 18 at EDCE Winnipeg!
The Arkansas Education Association (AEA), in partnership with 14 Oranges, has launched their new website and mobile app. The website and powerful smartphone app uses 14 Oranges’ Info Grove self-managed software, allowing association staff to reach their member base in a convenient fashion.
Mobile App & Mobile-Responsive Website
The mobile-responsive website and mobile app connects professionals, educators, and students to industry related news and events. The decision to build a mobile-responsive website along with the app provides members with a complete mobile-first communication platform. The app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store to the more than 10,000 members of the AEA and the general public.
“Our members are increasingly using smartphones to access the internet and we wanted to ensure they can learn more about the Arkansas Education Association in a clean and easy to use app and website,” says AEA President Cathy Koehler. “We are a membership driven organization, and it is incredibly important for us to keep members informed and make sure they know how to contact us.”
The app includes information about member benefits, including discounts available to AEA members, detailed contact information for AEA staff and field representatives, as well as a way for educators to join the association online.
“We hope these features will help us show the incredible value of AEA membership,” Koehler says. “Users will also be able to read the Arkansas Educator, a recently redesigned member magazine highlighting the incredible things our members do for their students every day.”
Mobile App for Member Engagement
Members of the AEA can now view industry related information on the platform of their choice; whether on a desktop computer or a smartphone, members can access virtually all content at their convenience. The dual-handed approach gives members the ability to choose their preferred method of communication, either with emails that link to the website or push notifications that link to the app.
The app, which connects members to information about advocacy issues, events, and news, provides certain content with or without an internet connection. Offline support means that members can get access to some of the information without worrying about a wifi connection or data usage.
Software-as-a-service model (SaaS)
There are several features that set the AEA app apart from other apps, explains Sylvain Marcotte, CEO and founder of 14 Oranges. “The AEA app follows the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, meaning the app is more than a one time product,” Marcotte says. “14 Oranges maintains the iPhone and Android apps on behalf of the AEA as Apple and Google release the latest operating systems and devices.”
The service stands out with two main features. The first is a targeted push notification service. Targeted notifications allow app administrators to push information directly to the smartphones of their members with the goal of having members perform real-world actions to the benefit of their organization, such as signing up for memberships or registering for an event. The push notifications can be highly targeted and sent based on a member’s geographic location or personal interests.
“AEA has served as the voice of public education for nearly 150 years, and in today’s political climate, it is incredibly important for our members to make their voices heard,” President Koehler says. “These targeted notifications will offer a new way to engage educators as our legislature develops and discusses laws affecting public education.”
The second is a self-service web interface for updating content by the customer. With the backend content management system (CMS), the AEA does not have to come back to 14 Oranges to update content in the app, saving them money and time. 14 Oranges’ user-friendly CMS, which follows similar guidelines as the WordPress web platform, was designed for non-technical staff to make changes in the app with ease.
“In addition to the cost savings, we won’t have to wait for an outside company to make time for adjustments,” President Koehler says. “This will allow us to share important information with members right away, and make sure the site stays up to date.”
Cross-Platform UI/UX Design
AEA members can use the app on all major devices, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, and other tablets. Also, the app supports push notification delivery to all major smartwatches.
“Together AEA members work to make public education excellent in Arkansas,” President Koehler says. “We are excited to offer these new tools to connect with our members, and are excited to see how they use them to increase student success.”
The Arkansas Education Association is a professional organization for teachers, education support professionals, students, and advocates. The fundamental objective is to work for improved salaries, benefits, and working conditions for all education professionals, as well as for the betterment of the Arkansas State education system.
For more information contact:
Kyle Leyenberger, Communications Specialist, AEA
(501) 375-4611 (x117) email@example.com
Info Grove Mobile Apps
Info Grove acts as an outbound communication platform. Primarily used by member-based organizations, the self-managed app software allows administrators and other non-technical staff to change and add content without going back to 14 Oranges. Info Grove follows similar guidelines to WordPress and 14 Oranges ensures the platform is as user-friendly as possible. Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps!
The Michigan and Missouri Education Associations, in partnership with 14 Oranges, has released their new and improved mobile apps. Members of both associations will notice the apps have been updated to meet the latest system offerings by Android and iPhone. Before, members of both associations had a different user-interface (UI) depending on their device, either Android or iPhone. Using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Platform, the cross-platform UI design will now provide users on both devices with the same user-experience (UX).
OLD Android UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)
OLD iPhone UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)
Android users will notice the biggest changes, as they no longer have a “hamburger menu” to navigate between app content. iPhone users, who formerly had a condensed grid that required swiping between pages, now have all buttons located on the main home screen.
New Missouri Education Association Mobile Interface
New Michigan Education Association Mobile Interface
Members of the Michigan and Missouri Education Associations will spend less time swiping between pages and searching for information and more time engaging with content. But most important, is the experience and interface are the same across all platforms, including tablets and iPads.
Michigan Education Association
The Michigan Education Association (MEA) is a self-governing education association, representing about 140,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state. The MEA Mobile App is designed to connect industry personnel to news, advocacy information, events, and resources. Also, the app links members to association benefits, such as “MyDeals” which offers discounts on day to day purchases.
Missouri Education Association
The Missouri NEA is an advocate for public schools, public school students, and public school employees. The 35,000 members of the Missouri National Education Association are public school teachers, librarians, counselors, coaches, school psychologists and psychiatrists, administrators and faculty in colleges and universities. Association members can use the app for a variety of purposes, such as carrying their MNEA E-Membership card and look up legislators to contact for advocacy purposes.
Info Grove – Software-as-a-Service Model
Info Grove is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communication platform for member-based associations. With the “SaaS” model, association directors don’t need to worry when a new phone is released or a system update is required. 14 Oranges takes care of updating the apps against the ever-changing system offerings by Android and iPhone for the associations. In doing so, 14 Oranges ensures that apps maintain full compatibility against all platform versions.
Using Info Grove’s backend content management system (CMS), association directors are now able to add and edit content within the app without going back to 14 Oranges, saving them time and money. Directors can now send targeted push notifications with ease and reach members in a timely fashion.
Are you looking to transition your outdated mobile application? Contact us today to see if Info Grove is right for you!
Union County and Monmouth County are now using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove self-managed mobile app service to engage citizens politically. Both counties have recognized the need to provide political content on the digital screen of the public’s choice in order to increase engagement.
Mobile-First Political Engagement
As government communication is becoming increasingly mobile, Union County and Monmouth County have adapted quickly to this transition. Both counties are using the app to provide election-related information to help citizens in a variety of ways. Most important is that they are helping citizens determine whether they are registered and where to vote, view district maps, and review candidates.
How Info Grove Helps Political Communication
The app acts as an all-in-one stop for political events, dates, and information. Union County and Monmouth County will be able to continuously update and add content using Info Grove’s backend content management system. This allows non-technical staff to edit their app and fill it with new content every election year to keep the app up to date.
Mobile App Features
Voters can view candidate promises and objectives, review past elections, and access PDF resources. This means that citizens will have improved access to information to help them make informed decisions. Both counties even go as far as to assist military and overseas Americans who aren’t physically present to cast their ballot.
Interested in learning how a mobile app can help your political objectives? Contact us today for a free online demonstration!
14 Oranges CEO Sylvain Marcotte spoke on Evolution Radio about the value of mobile apps for governments. 14 Oranges has deployed apps for governments serving a variety of functions, from citizen engagement apps for the City of Surrey, to mobile workforce management apps for the City of Richmond. Listen to the latest edition of plugged in podcast below.
Interested in mobile app statistics from 2017? Check out our infographic here.
It was 5 years ago when I was first introduced to car sharing. I did not understand it nor buy into it. The entire concept of sharing vehicles with other people confused me. However, it did not take long for me to abandon this mindset when Car2go had an info booth on my university campus. Next thing I knew they offered me 30 free minutes of driving and I signed on the dotted line. Today, I use both the Evo and Car2Go mobile apps and in doing so, I always have a set of vehicle keys in my pocket.
How does it work? Car2Go & Evo.
First, you have to register for a car sharing provider (they all have sign up fees but often offer promos) and download their mobile app. You’ll need a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. When you have been approved, all you have to do is open the app, find the closest car to you and press “reserve/book this car.” Car2Go and Evo will hold your reservation for 30 minutes. Once you make it to your chosen vehicle, open the app again and press “start rental.” From here on you’re being charged per minute. When you’ve reached your destination, park the car in a designated spot, open the app and end your trip. However, car sharing operates with a “home zone” attached. Meaning as long as you leave the vehicle within that zone, your parking is free. These home zones cover the geographic boundaries of an associated city, so in most cases, this is not an issue.
For just 32-41 cents a minute, Car2go and Evo car sharing apps adapt to your life. Whether you’re doing a quick shopping trip or driving home from work, car sharing helps you get around a busy city. Evo and Car2go also offer pricing for longer trips. With Car2Go, you can take a smart car for 24 hours for just $65, and Evo charges $89 for the same period. A great part of Evo and Car2Go is that they only charge $2/year to keep your membership, meaning if you don’t drive you don’t pay!
Why own a car?
In a busy city like Vancouver, owning your own vehicle may not make the most sense. With public transit, bike lanes, and densely populated areas, a car may not be right for you. By using these services you have all of the benefits of owning a car without having to deal with all of the hassles. No oil changes, no insurance, no inflating tires, no maintenance, and no problems. You do not have to pay for gas or for parking (unless it is a metered spot). Car sharing is best for people who don’t need a vehicle everyday. With the costs associated with owning a car (insurance, gas, maintenance, and etc.), carsharing in an urban city is a perfect solution. Pay for when you use it, not for when you don’t.
Peace of mind.
The part of these services that I enjoy the most is the peace of mind. I know that at all times I have a way home. I know that living in Vancouver, there is most likely an available car within walking distance. No longer do I feel stranded left hoping a cab drives by or actually comes when I call (hint: we need Uber). Car sharing mobile apps connect us with our cities like never before. Mobility in your city should not cause stress, so download an app that gives you 24/7 access to car keys in your pocket.