Not your father's cell phone any longer

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Last updated April 12, 2019

A new research study conducted by Harris Poll has discovered that Americans are increasingly using their handheld cell phones to do much more than merely make voice calls.  Instead, a full fifth of all adult cell phone owners indicated that they have used their phone to buy something online during the previous 12 months.  This was true whether the phone in question was an advanced smart phone or the much simpler and more affordable feature phone.  The 20 percent of Americans engaged in mobile commerce represent almost 40 million individuals.

All of this means that for the average American we can expect a great deal more advertising and marketing to be transmitted through our cell phones in future.  This will happen as more and more retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar come to understand that in the cell phone using population, they have a new market to exploit.

Indeed, three out of every ten adults using a cell phone in the US indicated during the poll that if they did not already receive advertising via text messages, they would be happy to do so.  It may seem odd for people to welcome advertising, but targeted text messaging advertising often takes the form of special deals and discounts that are announced only to those who opt to receive such messages.  Consumers often regard these as a benefit rather than a nuisance.

It remains to be seen how else cell phones will improve our lives, but it is certain that new and innovative uses will continue to be developed.