Skyfire's Horizon mobile browser extension platform, in addition to making mobile browsing more social, contextual and useful for consumers, is also allowing the mobile operators who've deployed it (two and counting!) on their Android device portfolios to also generate potential incremental revenue on each and every browsing session.
The platform allows easy & effective monetization in 3 key ways:
1. Promotional sponsorship - Operators can promote their own content and applications via a Horizon toolbar button or series of buttons, or work with third parties to sponsor a button. For example, the operator can work with a movie studio to add a button on the toolbar for an upcoming movie; the button links to a studio-sponsored promotional mobile web page for a period of time. Another example might be for the operator to instead promote one of their own branded services from a toolbar button, such as a location-based app, an operator-branded TV app, or anything similar. This is highly visible real estate, and a fantastic opportunity for an operator to extend its own services or those or a partner.
2. Banner and rich media advertising - Operators can use Skyfire’s robust ad-serving platform, or easily integrate their own, and then display banner or rich media ads in standard sizes immediately above the toolbar. We allow operators to schedule them in highly targeted ways to only show at certain times, or only to certain users. This helps strike a user-friendly balance between a terrific user experience while still generating incremental revenue.
3. Contextual revenue sharing - Horizon typically includes buttons for Shopping and App Recommendations; purchases that are made through these (and other similar) buttons can be structured so that the operator shares in any purchase revenue. These contextual buttons are continuing to be among the most-used buttons on our live deployments; consumers love being able to see a list of Apps, for instance, tailed to the page that they're currently browsing.
Operators have not been able to engage with end-users like this in the app and mobile browsing areas before. Instead of the "walled garden" approaches of the past, in which operators imposed services, Skyfire Horizon provides users with the flexibility to pick their own extensions from the top brands and utilities on the internet, delete services they don’t value, and even turn off the extension toolbar with a click in settings.
Consumers regain the way to personalise their browsers, and retain ultimate control over what content they consume. And once again, operators have the opportunity to put themselves at the heart of the consumer mobile experience – and generate incremental revenue in the process.
AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson made news on Wednesday with his comments about a future in which certain content providers or app developers could pay carriers to avoid having their services count against a customer’s monthly data limit. This was on the heels of last week's news that ESPN was or had been in discussions with at least one major US-based mobile operator on just such a plan.
“There will be players in the ecosystem who are motivated to draw more traffic to their particular content or website,” Randall Stephenson said at a conference for investors hosted by JPMorgan (JPM). “And will there be models that emerge where they are willing to defray some of the consumer end-user charges by paying it by themselves, either by advertising or by monetization of data? I think the answer to that is yes.”
We definitely think Stephenson and ESPN are onto something big. The groundwork for innovative billing models has already been lain by Opera Software, who recently acquired Skyfire, and with whom we're working closely on extending our joint cloud-based product suite for mobile operators.
Opera's Web Pass is an innovative way around data caps, and offers a clear-cut, easy-to-understand method for millions of global wireless customers to get online for the first time. It's already live with DiGi Telecommunications in Malaysia, with fantastic results. Taking advantage of the existing capabilities of the Opera Mini platform, and soon to add the mobile video optimization capabilities of Skyfire Rocket Optimizer, Opera Web Pass already provides operators with a scalable solution to easily and quickly deploy tailor-made mobile internet packages to their entire user base.
These packages can be simple, time-limited data packages, like 24 hours or 1 week of data. They can also be, per Stephenson, packages of data entirely subsidized by a content provider – such as 1 week of Facebook, or 24 hours of ESPN. The content provider can work with the operator to zero-rate their traffic, in exchange for the promotional opportunity that comes from extending this access to their services and being listed as a "package" in the operator's suite of data options. The point is that this sort of flexibility is already here.
It's a straightforward process similar to the way that users buy apps today. It will be refreshing for many of us – consumers and telecommunications professionals alike – to see the end of the widespread per-megabyte data plan. AT&T and ESPN are hinting at a future that thankfully is already here.
Before Skyfire introduced the ability, earlier this year, to use the cloud to target network congestion on a per-user, per-stream basis and optimize troublesome videos accordingly, mobile operators only had a couple of outdated and ineffective options available to them. Operators could introduce a policy to optimize video across the board, on all cells, at times when they thought congestion might occur. For instance, perhaps video traffic often spiked at 7pm; therefore, all users had their video bitrates lowered at 7pm – regardless of whether congestion was actually occurring on that cell or for that user. The nerve!
Operators, dissatisfied with this approach, then moved to a more granular solution, and deployed expensive "probes" in the radio access network (RAN) to focus optimization only on congested cells. RAN probes were, in fact, useful for reducing or eliminating congestion, but this was done at the expense of the individual user experience. Many people, of course, experience issues with their video streams that have nothing to do with macro-level cell congestion. The user might actually be indoors, and suffering from signal blockage. They might be at the edge of a cell, with a poor signal. The user might even be using an old phone with a CPU that just can’t handle the bitrate of the given video they’ve requested. We at Skyfire saw just how limited this approach was, and knew there was a far better way to surgically optimize video.
We believe in rescuing each and every customer from an unhappy video session. That means using Skyfire's cloud-based mobile video optimization solution, Rocket Optimizer, to measure, quantify and mitigate every single stream on the network, and apply optimization policy only when it makes sense for a given user, and not on a "macro", cell-wise basis for everyone – even those customers who are doing just fine without us.
Rocket Optimizer provides operators with several key measurements that allow them to set effective, QoE-assuring network policy for their customers. It accurately measures and provides a baseline rate for both video start time and for video buffering without optimization, so that operators can truly see the health of their network and the quality of their user’s experience on it when nothing is being done. Then, by applying optimization on a per-session basis, operators can then see the effect that optimization has actually had on their users’ video start times and buffering rates. Skyfire optimizes that affected subscriber’s video traffic by allowing as many bytes to be delivered to their device as quickly as possible without allowing a slow start time or buffering. Metrics such as these can be dynamically configured by the operator, and can be deployed on a per-cell, per-region or network-wide basis via the Rocket Optimizer dashboard.
So imagine a cloudless, quiet Sunday morning in a medium-sized city. Video, in theory, should play at maximum allowable bitrates for every user on a 4G network, right? YouTube, Facebook video, live soccer streams should flow through to devices with no problems – except for that guy behind the steel door, and the woman trying to watch cat videos while between cell towers, and the child in a fast-moving car watching "Sesame Street". Now even they'll be rescued from a poor experience, and their operator will be rescued from being blamed for a "bad network" when things don't happen to be as they should be.
In an era in which wireless operators are under immense competitive and investor pressure to differentiate themselves from each other, while also increasing data’s percentage of monthly ARPU – all while also coping with unprecedented over-the-top video services clogging their networks - an increasingly crucial component of both happy customers and a healthy balance sheet is an ever-improving Quality of Experience (QoE) for customers.
Quality of experience is fairly simply defined. QoE measures total system/network performance, using subjective and objective measures of customer satisfaction. The combination of these measures helps determine a customer’s overall satisfaction with their wireless operator, which in turn determines their willingness to stay with that operator, recommend that operator, and purchase value-added (and ARPU-enhancing) services from that operator.
Many operators’ quality of experience has been severely tested in recent years by the explosive growth of mobile video traveling on their networks, particularly from popular OTT streaming applications like YouTube, Netflix and countless others – to say nothing of the growth of browser-based HTML5 video. These applications not only put pressure on mobile networks by consuming a tremendous amount of bandwidth, but they also must be delivered at a very fast rate in order to avoid re-buffering and slow start times.
In a 2012 survey by Harris Interactive of US smartphone owners, 40% of customers who had switched wireless operators during the previous year said they did so because of “data quality/service”, each having left their current operator in search of better data connections with a new one. This was second only to “price” as a key reason for churning. In the UK, 43% of consumers who had switched operators cited “data quality/service” as a leading reason for having done so; again, this reason for leaving was cited as second only to price.
When surveyed, wireless consumers are also quite clear on what “quality of experience” means to them when it comes to video. According to the same 2012 Harris Interactive survey of UK and US smartphone owners, 87% of British and 86% of US consumers indicated that when their mobile connection is poor, they care more about seeing a standard definition video which plays smoothly than seeing a high definition video with slow starts, stuttering and re-buffering. In other words, how users perceive their quality of experience is more heavily influenced by transmission quality than visual quality. Consumers are very willing to watch a video that has been optimized for their experience, with a delivery bitrate matched for their individual place on the network at that time (congested, within a building, or behind a wall), “as long as it plays”.
With the latest Cisco Virtual Networking Index projecting that mobile video - already 50% of the bandwidth on global wireless networks - will grow to 66% of all bandwidth by 2017, it is clear that a leading indicator of experience quality for operators is video, and how successfully it is delivered to subscribers: free of buffering, stuttering, slow starts, audio/video sync problems and excessive pixilation. It is the place where the mobile operators will be focusing their resources in the software-defined, cloud-powered network environments of the coming years.
Skyfire's SVP of Sales & Business Development Jason Guesman has been deeply involved in helping global operators solve data and network management issues during his career. He's worked on all sides of the carrier/vendor/OEM equation during his 15+ years in the wireless industry, and has an informed perspective on how mobile network operators, device manufactures and content producers are coexisting (or not) in the ever-changing wireless landscape of today.
We caught up with Jason this week to talk about content producers like YouTube, Netflix, ESPN and others in particular, and why capacity-challenged mobile operators who are looking to them to quickly relieve their overclogged networks might wish to look elsewhere instead.
What's a common misperception that mobile operators have about content publishers and optimization?
Jason Guesman: There continues to be this myth that the bandwidth capacity problem on 3G and 4G networks will simply go away in time, because content publishers, the ones who are making or distributing video, will magically step in to solve it on the supply side. It's not true, of course, because there's virtually no incentive for the producer to do so. Mobile viewing on 3G/4G networks barely registers with them, when it's only 3-4% of their overall traffic.
Yet there's this thought that perhaps if the operators work as a group with a big content provider like YouTube or Netflix to compress video on the supply side, all will be well. This is false on a number of fronts, with one key reason being that an operator, or a group of operators, simply can't make deals with a few big publishers and say they've solved the problem. Traffic isn't only coming from a handful of producers – video is now pervasive across the internet, with over 100 million publishers incorporating video into their sites. 50% of all mobile video traffic is "long tail" traffic, and operators can't predict what that will be and where it will come from over time. We know that YouTube traffic is significant, of course, but we also know that it has been shrinking for the last few years, relative to all other video traffic - which is growing exponentially. Perception is lagging reality. Video on the internet was not long ago a very rare animal, and now it's absolutely exploding.
What incentive does a content publisher have, then, to make adjustments to their content to fit the available mobile pipes? Is anyone doing this?
Jason Guesman: A content producer or delivery platform is going to ask, like any business, what's in it for them. Does it make sense to address the soaring consumer demand for mobile video by spending money to help operators? Does this also help their bottom lines? No. They haven't had any reason to address it to date, because mobile networks - and by that I mean 3G and 4G/LTE networks, which is what the operators care about - consume only 3-4% of their overall traffic. The rest is on fixed and Wi–Fi networks. 3% or 4% just doesn't register when 97% of your video traffic is delivered by other means.
Publishers are already under immense pressure to monetize the content they create or buy, and this alone consumes enough of their spending and business decisions. The only time they'll invest is when they can make money by doing so – when there's premium content and a ready-made business model, such as with MLB or, in some cases, with Netflix. But even Netflix has one adaptive algorithm across all available pipes, including 3G/4G networks, and a movie or show that streams from them will seek to consume as much of that pipe as it possibly can, in order to deliver the best picture quality for the user. That's extremely dangerous for the capacity-constriained network provider, especially when they're looking to keep their users from churning to other operators who are perceived to have "better networks".
The one thing publishers can do, and are starting to do, is work to standardize around a video format. If you're a publisher, the MP4 format is your friend. It's inexpensive, and has no licensing fees. It's one format that works everywhere. Consequently, operators are looking to mobile video optimization solutions like Skyfire's that are aggressive and strong at optimizing MP4 video, which accounts for about 70% of iPhone and iPad video, and 50% of all web video.
What message would you deliver to mobile operators?
Jason Guesman: Essentially I'd encourage them to not waste any time waiting for this issue to be solved on the publisher side. I'd tell them – in fact I do tell them that video is already 50% or more of your traffic. Your CapEx budgets are being driven by video, and how you react to it has a direct impact to your bottom line.
You can let Google, Apple, Samsung and others control how video gets delivered on the network you built and paid for – or you can wrest back control from them, and address it in a much more revenue-advantageous and customer experience-improving manner. I mean, a hypothetical example – Google could mandate tomorrow that every device with the Key Lime Pie version of Android now plays videos at 720p. That's great marketing for them, and it's not as if they need to ask mobile operators if that's OK.
In an era when one user with a bandwidth-hogging, high-definition video can take down an entire cell sector, the focus needs to be an assuring the user experience not only for that guy, but for everyone else on that cell as well. Virtually all device manufacturers are promoting "HD video" as a key selling proposition of their smartphones. However, few if any smartphones have a large enough screen to benefit from full HD content. There's no real end user benefit - but there is a significant waste of network resources.
When a solution like Skyfire's Rocket Optimizer elegantly and elastically compresses and optimizes that video to fit the available capacity, you pass the capabilities of the human eye to even see the differences between "HD" and a lower-bitrate video that quite literally saves the network from being crippled, and also provides enough capacity and throughput for everyone else. In most cases, video can be delivered without the need for optimization. Skyfire empowers operators to optimize when congestion occurs, and delivers the best possible experience given available network resources.
That's the way out of the capacity issues that are challenging mobile networks today. Thankfully we're seeing the mindset begin to shift, as operators begin to recognize the content publishers' inertia and see a new array of cloud-based and software-defined network solutions like ours, and our partners', rearing their heads. I'm confident the myth of the benevolent content publisher will begin to wither and die in 2013.
A new class of network management solutions have arisen of late that claim that segmenting network traffic into different “buckets” of priority, and then putting those buckets of traffic in appropriate bandwidth lanes (often known as “Pacing”) will somehow solve those mobile network operators’ congestion and user experience issues. At Skyfire, we believe that there are numerous flaws with this argument, and we have written a short paper that explains succinctly how compression, combined with an intense, surgical focus on real-time quality of experience, rather than pacing, delivers a far superior quality of experience to end users – while also keeping those users happy with their operators.
We invite you to come download our newest white paper, "Why a Pacing-Only Approach to Network Optimization Doesn't Work", and see what you think. We're aggressively in the camp that believes that elastic capacity, a laser focus on QoE and a compression-based approach that optimizes virtually all video when needed – and not simply one form of it – is the strongest statement an operator can make to its customers and shareholders that it cares about their experience and their return on investment, respectively.
Download all Skyfire white papers here.
It's clear that Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is 2013's most-uttered telecoms/network buzzword so far, if January's Mobile World Congress sessions and related media coverage are any indication. Far from being a mere trendy acronym, however, NFV is generating excitement as indicative evidence of the move toward a software-defined, cloud-driven, virtualized network architecture. We think that mobile operators who wish to move toward network function virtualization and state-of-the-art architectures to replace today's proprietary inline appliances will likely follow a progression of steps for greatest success. Today, it's difficult to leap directly to virtualizing the entire network, including EPC and Gi LAN and all of its functions, yet a 3- stage process can allow for step-by-step, lower risk adoption.
For step 1, service providers can prove the viability of individual virtualized functions starting right now, such as the traditional in-network function of data and media optimization and traffic shaping. Skyfire's Rocket Optimizer is NFV-ready today, and it makes for a robust and compelling use case for operators looking for immediate cost, flexibility and user experience benefits from a virtualized cloud. Video and multimedia optimization in the cloud is possible when intelligent routing and steering partners like F5, Cisco, A10, Procera and ConteXtream are already present in the network, and Skyfire works closely with all of these and more to deliver a 60% boost in bandwidth capacity across all device types. Other candidates for taking a discrete network application to the cloud include PCRF, OSS/BSS, content filtering, VOLTE, or orchestration of new service packages for a niche set of users.
A second stage of NFV might involve an operator spinning up a "virtual full network" for a particular MVNO, or a nationwide enterprise customer that wants a private mobile network with its own policies, configuration and reporting. Only once that stage is proven, and any scaling wrinkles are ironed out, can carriers then proceed to bringing their entire network in one region or nationwide to a virtualized architecture. Skyfire can be an important first step in implementing robust, cost-saving, capacity-boosting services in an NFV architecture in 2013. If you're looking to get started, please let us know.
Our Skyfire Horizon mobile browser extension platform is now live across a multiple of Android and iOS devices, including on the latest devices of 1 major US-based network operator - and coming to Sprint devices very soon as well. We're extending mobile browsing in our own Skyfire-branded products as well; you can find the Horizon toolbar in our free Android browser as well as the most robust set of browser extensions ever created in Skyfire for iPad. (iPhone is coming soon, as well).
Here are 7 things that are now possible in mobile browsers that you may not have even known that browsers could do….!
1. Save a promotion code with one click while shopping.
The "Offers" button that you'll find in Skyfire Horizon clients lets you, with one click, save a promo code in your device's "buffer", and then allows you to easily paste that into the typical "Promo Code?" question you'll see as you're checking out. No more searching for codes, no more scribbling them down with a pen and then hoping you'll remember it later.
2. Create your own branded, visual bookmarks on your browser's home screen.
With other browsers, you can certainly create bookmarks, but only Skyfire Horizon allows you to have that bookmark visually accessible to you as your navigate from site to site on your device. It's right there in the toolbar, saved as an graphical icon that you can access whenever you'd like, no matter which page you happen to be browsing.
3. Get personalized app recommendations.
Discovering new apps to download on Android or in the Apple App Store is now incredibly easy, without having to navigate through multiple categories and search terms to find what you want. Just click the "Apps" or "Related Apps" button on the toolbar, and a list of apps contextually related to the page you're on will appear, all powered by Skyfire partner Quixey. The photo you see here is an example of the apps that are recommended when surfing the Beer Advocate website while using Skyfire for iPad. They're spot on.
4. Elegantly layer mobile web content on top of other content.
Skyfire Horizon enables a "quick peek" into disparate and useful sites like Amazon.com, eBay, Fandango, Yahoo Finance, TechCrunch, Mashable, GigaOm and dozens more. These pop-up windows open over the content you're browsing without taking you away from it, and let you catch a glimpse into stocks, deals, news and more – while letting you easily glide back into your main screen with a touch of a button. This is browsing designed for a mobile world, rather than cramming traditional desktop browsing into a mobile browser.
5. "Crowdsource" your friends.
Long a staple of Skyfire browsers, the "Popular" button provides a window into what your Facebook friends are liking and sharing on the page you're on. You don't need to read the entire page or site for the interesting parts; your friends who've already been there will tell you.
6. Install, reorder and delete your browsing extensions.
Just as you can add and delete bookmarks and extensions to popular "toolbars" in the desktop browsing world of Safari, Chrome and Firefox, now you have your own mobile toolbar that's 100% personalized by you. If you'd like your main-view extensions to be social media-related, its exceptionally easy to customize the toolbar to prioritize these extensions. If you, on the other hand, would like to move Facebook and Twitter to a lesser priority, or remove them altogether in favor of news-related extensions, you can do that as well. We're adding multiple new extensions every month to all versions of Skyfire Horizon, so there's bound to be several items that will make your mobile life more social, more contextual and easier than it was before.
7. A toolbar that gets out of the way.
Unlike your desktop toolbar, Skyfire Horizon's toolbar pops out of view as you browse. We don't want to get in the way of your browsing, but Skyfire Horizon is always there when you need it and can easily be called right back into view with a flick, tap or a scroll. Think of it as your own personal browsing assistant, ready when you need it, but always willing to fade into the background when you want to be alone.
Last year we worked with Harris Interactive to survey US and UK consumers on their smartphone habits, and in the course of doing so, learned a great deal about why consumers leave one wireless provider for another. Other than price (49%), the biggest reason cited by US smartphone owners who had switched mobile carriers during the previous year was to seek better data coverage and download speeds on their wireless network (40% cited this reason).
Now comes a new survey by the NPD Group that shows that the focus by consumers on network quality is only growing, as each network finds it more difficult than ever before to compete on exclusive smartphones and unique services or apps. According to NPD's new Connected Intelligence Carrier Smartphone Report, network speed has grown significantly in importance from 25 percent of smartphone owners considering a switch in carriers in Q4 2011, to 41 percent in Q4 2012. Network reliability and better coverage also grew in importance among those consumers. Taking a look at the chart here, you'll see that "all things network" are growing in importance, while factors like exclusive device availability and customer service are declining or are neutral in stated importance.
These figures certainly jibe with what Skyfire hears from operators around the world on a weekly basis - particularly those operators who see 2013 as the year to take a great leap forward in assuring their customers' quality of experience. Since operators can't predictably harness the pipe-clogging over-the-top (OTT) video traffic that streams in droves across their networks, they're looking to Skyfire and complementary QoE-focused, next-gen network service providers to help measure, quantify and then mitigate congestion where it occurs in real time, even down to the individual user and session level.
Something tell me that just as device and app availability came to be fairly standard over time on each network, so too will a guaranteed first-rate quality of experience be a "given" on the networks of the near future, particularly on those network providers who are embracing the flexibility and scalability of cloud, SDN and NFV architectures. It's clear that it's what the people are asking for, and they're voting in 2-year contract increments for those network providers who are listening.
Blue Kangaroo are a key partner of Skyfire's in the deployment of robust contextual browsing functionality in our mobile browser extension platform, Skyfire Horizon. The "Offers" button found in the operator-, iPad and Android versions of the platform is powered by Blue Kangaroo and its mobile-centric technology, and it brings a "personal shopping" experience that provides valuable offers and deals, based on whatever page you happen to be browsing on your smartphone or tablet. Already live on multiple devices with one major US-based wireless operator, Skyfire Horizon is an announced part of Sprint's Pinsight Media+ ecosystem as well, and will be a part of numerous upcoming Android devices from Sprint. The Skyfire Horizon toolbar is also available within Skyfire's own downloadable iPad and Android apps.
We caught up with Blue Kangaroo's Chief Revenue Officer, Laurence Marks, and talked with him about how his company is re-imagining shopping for a mobile age, as well as just how Blue Kangaroo powers offers discovery and as a valuable component of the Skyfire Horizon browser extension platform.
Tell us a little bit about Blue Kangaroo – your mission, how your products work, and where users can find Blue Kangaroo functionality outside of Skyfire Horizon.
Blue Kangaroo is a free Personal Shopper that delivers instant gratification for shoppers by finding the best, most relevant offers from their favorite brands and products. Our mission is to make sure that our shoppers always get the right offer at the right time. We scour the deal universe to deliver on that promise including offers from major retailers, daily deal services, loyalty programs, local merchants, flash sale sites, big discounters, in-store offers and more.
The Blue Kangaroo app on Skyfire Horizon does two great things for shoppers. As they surf mobile retail stores and visit their local mall, “the Roo” alerts shoppers to the best, most relevant offers and filters out the clutter of deals that do not work. In addition, our app delivers a Twitter-like hot list of recommended deals each day that are personalized to the shopper’s interests.
Over time, our Personal Shopper gets steadily better at picking offers you’d like. With your explicit permission, our service learns your preferences and interests by observing your recent retail site visits and searches, as well as noting the emails flooding into your personal Yahoo or Gmail inbox from marketing newsletters and daily deal services. From all these indicators, the Roo builds a dynamic profile of active shopping interests that gets better at understanding your individual shopping needs.
As Blue Kangaroo delivers instant gratification for consumers, we also help our partners achieve their main goals. Our 1600+ marketing partners receive opt-in permission for personally targeted marketing, and our distribution partners realize more engagement and new revenue streams.
Where else can you find us? In addition to the Skyfire Horizon toolbar, you can find Blue Kangaroo’s deal-discovery services today at www.BlueKangaroo.com, as a free downloadable app for Android in the Google Play store and for iOS in the AppStore.
What are some of the biggest challenges in shopping and deal discovery for users now in 2013?
There’s no shortage of offers out there. In fact, we move through a constant white-out blizzard of deals and offers that we end up ignoring. As a result, we miss many amazing deals that we’d love if only we knew about them. And that’s the challenge: how can we know about just the right offers at just the right times?
The challenge deepens on mobile phones, where screens and keys are smaller and users have no patience for long lists and cumbersome navigation routines. The mobile environment requires that deal discovery services be effortless, intuitive, and highly selective in finding exactly the right offers for the user’s current context – whether this involves a particular retail site that the shopper is visiting at this moment, or involves nearby stores in the shopping mall where the shopper has taken her phone. Effortless, intuitive and selective delivering instant gratification – that’s the solution that Blue Kangaroo is building.
What makes the availability of Blue Kangaroo functionality within the Skyfire Horizon platform exciting to you and your company?
The Skyfire Horizon platform finally makes it easy to integrate a user’s favorite apps into their mobile browsing experience. Blue Kangaroo’s mission is to provide the mobile consumer instant gratification for offers. Horizon puts the best, most relevant offers at their fingertips whether they are shopping on mobile or in-store at the mall.
How do you see mobile shopping evolving in coming years, and what roles do you see both Blue Kangaroo and Skyfire playing in that evolution?
The efficiency and relevance of mobile marketing will be transformed within the next 12-18 months by the advent of shopping services and devices that truly understand what we call the consumer’s “Shopping GPS”. Shopping GPS is the mapping of a consumer’s shopping preferences, buying intent and context (including geo-proximity to stores). These factors all come into play in a consumer’s shopping decisions, and enhance the accuracy of our shopping GPS projections for a given shopper, helping us do a better job of serving up the right offers at just the right times.
An example of where this is headed is highlighted in national surveys in which 85% of consumers say they want relevant offers while they are shopping. With this in mind, Blue Kangaroo has geo-fenced the specific locations of the top 1,350 shopping malls, so when shoppers visit their favorite mall, Blue Kangaroo creates an instant shopping itinerary for their mall visit, prioritizing for them the best, most relevant deals available at this particular mall today, based on the user’s specific, personal interests. Our app becomes your Personal Shopper at the mall, pointing you toward exactly the offers you’d like to see. With Blue Kangaroo, the future of shopping GPS is already here.
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