Looking Back to Tomorrow

Today’s guest blog post is written by Lorna Dolci, Vice President, Business Affairs, Patron Technology.

I recently visited Walt Disney World in Orlando. It was the first time I had been there in about 18 years and other than looking somewhat dated (especially Tomorrowland!), it still felt just as fun and exciting as it did the first time. However, there was one big difference that truly made my most recent experience magical: a mobile app.

The Disney World app which features an interactive map, a place to reserve a fast-pass (yeah, where you get to skip the lines!), and a list of the wait times at all the attractions in the park enhanced my experience in ways I would have never thought possible 18 years ago. Instead of strolling through the park looking for the fun, I had an interactive tool that gave me real-time information about where to go and how to get there.

My phone was an important part of my experience. (Note – A year ago my colleague Erin Ramirez wrote two posts about her experience with Walt Disney World and how they put the customer experience at a new level by using a CRM system. You can read her post and follow-up post here.)

Upon returning from my trip, I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark differences between my two visits separated by 18 years, years which were filled with world-wide adoption of the internet and the mobile smart phone.

This experience had me thinking about overall mobile trends, and I did a little research… on my mobile phone of course. I came across some noteworthy facts trends and facts which I thought would be interesting to share.  

  • Most media consumption now happens on a mobile device. The tipping point occurred in 2014 when mobile media consumption surpassed usage of a desktop. Techcrunch
  • Overall email usage is on the rise, primarily driven by consumers’ shift to mobile. CMO October 2016
  • People are reading their emails on their mobile device: 56% of opens are on a mobile device vs. 17% on desktop opens and 27% on webmail opens. Litmus September 2016
  • Desktop browsing is on the decline, and one-fifth of millennials don’t even use desktops, which portends the future, perhaps, when desktops will go the way of landline phones – into obscurity. PCMag.com April 2016

These data points all make logical sense to me given my own experience using a desktop and mobile. How about for you? What I found consistent in the research I did is that if you’re working for or running an organization which is doing e-commerce, your site must be optimized for mobile usage as well as desktop usage. And if you’re looking to interact with your customer, a great mobile experience is now essential, and email is the preferred form of communication.

As for Disney – yep – they got it right, and given the size of their organization, they should get it right. It makes sense from the leaders in customer satisfaction. They fully embraced mobile usage and integrated it into the experience overall.

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