mobile platforms, omnichannel

Fashion retail and apparel companies without a clear mobile commerce and social media strategy take note: in a just-released consumer behavior study, total screen time on a smart phone continues to grow and per-capita use is 8.6 hours a week — now surpassing the time people watch broadband video at 8.2 hours per week.

The study, conducted by Plano, Texas-based research firm The Diffusion Group, also revealed that consumers spend more than 50 hours a week using a screen such as a TV, personal computer, tablet or a smart phone. Moreover, the growth of Social-Mobile Video, or SoMo Video, is pegged to experience rapid and expansive growth over the next decade.

The researchers said they expect SoMo Video to grow from about 684 million daily viewing minutes this year to 7.4 billion by 2025. The company noted that as a share of total smartphone video viewing, “SoMo Video will grow from 17 percent in 2016 to 43 percent in 2025.”

“Importantly, the role that smart phones play in total screen time continues to expand,” the researchers said in their report. “Notably, social networking now comprises four hours of weekly screen time, of which 63 percent is spent using services like Instagram (2.5 hours/week).”

The authors of the report said the “overlap between smartphone and social network use is quite significant, which has led a number of companies to test the viability of Social-Mobile (SoMo) networks for video delivery,” the researchers said. “While SoMo Video currently accounts for 0.13 hours per week of screen time (10 percent of smartphone use and 14 percent of total Smartphone Video time), this is expected to change dramatically during the next decade.”

Joel Espelien, senior analyst with The Diffusion Group and author of the report, said “screen time is shifting towards mobile. Mobile usage is shifting towards social networking apps. And social networking apps are shifting towards video. All the trends are lining up in favor of massive growth in SoMo Video over the next decade.”

For fashion retail and apparel firms, the implications require companies to adopt strategies in the social-mobile space. In a separate study by e-commerce marketing company Somo, the luxury segment in particular is well poised to benefit from the growth of social mobile.

The firm noted that luxury shoppers tend to be more tech savvy than other consumers, and 75 percent of luxury consumers research brands and products online before making a purchase. Of those consumers, 73 percent make their purchase on a mobile device.