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B2: E- and Mobile Commerce II
From multilingual focus group interviews to a multilingual online survey: Understanding cross-cultural differences in social network sites usage
University of Tartu, Estonia
Social network sites (SNS) have become a mass phenomenon across Europe. However, there has been little cross-cultural research in terms of SNS choice and usage. The study presented aimed at filling this gap by examining SNS choice and usage across three different cultural groups with a special focus on the practice of forwarding or recommending media content via SNS profiles.
This study combines qualitative and quantitative research methods. In a first step, focus group interviews with SNS users in Germany and Estonia were conducted. In Estonia, this included both a group with Estonians as well as with the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia. Through these interviews, possible behaviors, experiences and opinions in terms of SNS choice and usage were identified. Based on these interviews, a large-scale, multilingual online survey with SNS users in Germany and Estonia was conductd. The samples were representative for the internet population in these countries in terms of age, gender, language, and place of living.
Both the focus group interviews and the online surveys made obvious cross-cultural differences in terms of SNS choice and usage. However, in all three cultural groups, the tendency to switch from a local or domestic SNS, such as StudiVZ or rate, to a more international one, mainly Facebook, was detected. This tendency, however, was far less obvious among the Russian Estonians than among the other two groups. Whereas the choice of SNS was seen to decreasingly reflect a demand for cultural proximity, the personal networks within the SNS were seen to reflect a great demand for cultural proximity. Such a demand was expressed through a low degree of interconnectivity across cultural groups through such SNS and through the fact that media content, which users recommended to each other through such SNS, by and large was local and domestic.
The study makes obvious cross-cultural differences in SNS choice and usage, and it highlights the role of network externalities as determinants of SNS choices that make large, international SNS very attractive to users, despite the expressed need for cultural proximity.
Mobile Commerce Insights – figures and success factors for the new mobile market
phaydon | research+consulting, Germany
Relevance & Research Question:
Mobile Commerce belongs to the most important topics in mobile business. The annual “Mobile Commerce Insights” presents up-to-date figures, success factors, and trends for the mobile market. This year’s study analyzed current Smartphone usage with emphasis on the relevance of mobile websites vs. Smartphone Apps for mobile commerce processes. Mobile Commerce customers were invited to a mobile research, to investigate occasions & scenarios for mobile commerce along with typically purchased products and to measure satisfaction with available services.
Methods & Data:
The research was conducted in three steps: The international market screening (desk research) in step 1 identified relevant topics and trends for mobile business. In step 2, an online panel survey among 927 German Smartphone users was conducted to gain insights on general Smartphone usage, to quantify access to the mobile internet via browsers and Apps, and to explore to what intend the mobile internet is used. In step 3, a panel survey among 550 German iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry users was conducted as mobile research directly on user’s Smartphones. The 550 participants were selected according to the 3 most important global players with the biggest App Stores. All 550 regularly access the mobile internet via browser and Apps and are mobile commerce users.
Besides a general increase in mobile internet usage, the market screening identified the growing importance of App Stores, but a surprising lack of solid data concerning the actual usage of Apps. Figures of the survey clearly show the increasing value of mobile internet and Apps: 65% of the asked Smartphone users access the mobile internet daily via browser, followed by 63% daily App users. While users preferred mobile websites for an overview of products and prices, they used apps to purchase products. In general, all-in-one-services tailored for mobile use are still underrepresented.
This research is the only one that quantifies access to the mobile internet via browsers and Apps. Furthermore, the study gives feasible recommendations, how to align mobile commerce business to user’s needs and habits, identifies best practices and deducts personas of typical mobile commerce users.
Mobile Research Apps – Adding New Capabilities to Market Research
Interrogare GmbH, Germany
Relevance & Research Question
Smartphones are one of the main drivers for the increasing usage of the mobile Internet. Particularly the launch of mobile apps has opened new possibilities for the users and thus has been a major part of the mobile success story the last years. For market researchers and panel providers mobile devices and especially apps provide new means to access respondents. Moreover, mobile surveys and panels add new capabilities to market research which have to be defined and evaluated.
Methods & Data
Using the example of the Interrogare app for mobile panels, the paper focuses on identifying new opportunities of mobile apps for market research. The different case studies are presented and empirically compared to online and mobile studies. The Interrogare app enables market researchers to survey their panelists in the right moment at the point-of-interest. This is realized by using functions like push-notification and geolocation.
Mobile apps add new capabilities to market research. One of the biggest advantages is the application for location- and time-sensitive studies. Mobile research apps facilitates fast-response surveys. Moreover, mobile panels are particularly helpful to reach specific target groups, such as early-adopter or business people.
The presented case studies outline first possible applications of mobile apps in market research and discusses the new capabilities for market researchers. In addition to this best-practices for mobile surveys are shown.