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Would you tap that?

October 7th, 2013 by Jeremy Lloyd


One of the hottest trends in mobile consumer tech right now and a topic of great interest to the Liberate Media team is the idea that people can tap their phone to receive a range of services and how brands are partnering with start-up’s to innovate in this area. Here are a few examples worth taking a look at:

Tapit recently worked with JCDecaux on Nike’s outdoor media panels, giving people the opportunity to simply tap their phone to instantly download the Nike+ running application. Accessing the Tapit platform, Nike and their agency teams could see in real-time which outdoor media locations were generating interactions as well as other rich data such as time of day, frequency, operating system and model of phone. Big brands are using the likes of Tapit to enhance their outdoor media assets beyond an ‘opportunity to see’ medium, suddenly transforming each outdoor asset into a dynamic content delivery point that people can effortlessly interact with using their smartphone.

Uber identifies your location for you to then request a vehicle, only for it to arrive and pick you up, with the payment automatically charged.  By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through their apps, Uber makes cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and creating more business for drivers simply by tapping their devices if set-up correctly.

Postmates aims to re-define the shopping experience buy allowing users of its app to order their lunch, groceries or office supplies to be delivered in under an hour. They believe that ordering online isn’t necessarily the quickest option when the item you want is most likely sitting in a store around the corner. They offer users the chance to browse over 20,000 products from more than 3,300 stores, helping them find exactly what they’re looking for. Its nearby tab even updates dynamically based on your location, giving you a constant stream of nearby restaurants or local merchants.

Taking the ‘convenience tech’ business model of the likes of Postmates further, Instacart recently created an offering where customers can pay an annual fee of $99 to receive free deliveries for a year. Consumers are already comfortable with subscriptions so long as they’re priced reasonably and deliver value. Instacart Express offers a 14-day free trial of the service before payment of the full yearly fee is to be paid.

This mobile ‘tapping culture’ is starting to prove very popular indeed. Users are addicted to the instant gratification and simplicity it offers but at the same time, there is some inefficiency in using hyper-specific services such as laundry versus dry-cleaning. Nevertheless, what is most interesting to us is the competition among the many start-ups in the sector to figure out the most universal model to appeal to the widest cross-section of mobile users.

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