Why Coffee Shops are Such a Strong Fit with Mobile Engagement

26th March 2017

In 2008, Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, a company that reviews technology trends annually, boldly stated that there would be a tipping point in 2014 where mobile would overtake fixed internet access.  And it’s a prediction that proved absolutely true.  3 years on and we are seamlessly connected consumers.  No matter where we are at any time or place, we have the ability to access instant information on the move through the genius technology that has transformed the mobile phone into a smart device capable of so much more than making or taking calls.  

According to Deloitte, we have entered the era of peak smartphone to a point where there’s no place like phone (Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016: UK Cut).  A whopping 81% of UK adults or 91% of 18-44 year olds now own a smartphone.  And the majority are now connected to 4G with cellular networks getting faster and faster every day.  Email, social media and chat have become far more popular than a traditional call.  How we consume information is fundamentally changing and consumers are driving the change.  Collectively, us Brits check our smartphones over a billion times a day.

Business in particular has felt the full force of mobile.  SME’s can do business anywhere in the world 24 hours a day.  We are no longer constrained to office hours and a desk.  Today we carry everything we need in the palm of our hand.  And it’s not just mobile phones that have transformed.  Tablets and laptops now litter the tray tables in trains and planes across the globe with people feverishly tapping away at keyboards with a vengeance.  According to Deloitte’s mobile survey, 63% of UK consumers own a tablet with 76% owning a laptop.  This puts desktop in the shade with less than 48% of the market share.  It’s not just our personal lives that we manage with mobile devices, our professional lives have become a mobile commodity now too.  We take work with us wherever we go.  

The mobile revolution has had a profound impact on the world of advertising, particularly when it comes to outdoor media.  No longer is a poster just a poster.  Every single time someone sees an ad out of home, there is the potential that they might go immediately online to check out an offer, look into a service, or simply engage with a brand.  Outdoor media has become a portal that connects the offline and online worlds, acting as a prompt to drive consumers online.  The only trouble with ads on billboards, buses or taxis is the fact that generally when people see these ads they’re out on the street travelling from one point to the next and not necessarily in the frame of mind or the space to instantly be online.  It’s more about planting a seed for later.

When it comes to advertising in Coffee Shops and Cafes though, consumers are far more likely to have the time and the opportunity for immediate engagement with brands online, whether on a personal or professional level.  This is because Coffee Shops are a hub for SME’s looking for a little time out on their leisure time, or for a place conducive to business when they’re looking for an alternative to the office or an environment that allows them to work whilst on the move.  Coffee Shops have all the coffee, cake, company and connectivity necessary to get the creative juices flowing, allow for informal business meetings, catch up on emails, or manage last minute changes to presentations and proposals.  

According to Statcounter, in October 2016 mobile web usage overtook desktop for the first time with 51.3% of web pages loaded on mobile.  This is up from less than 5% in 2010 and less than 25% three years ago.  What this means is that the smartphone is becoming the primary, if not only, communication device for consumers.  So for business-focused brands looking to reach SME’s at a moment across their working day when they’re most likely to be open to communication outside of their everyday work routine with the time and space to engage fully, the fact that each and every one of these SME’s is likely to be carrying a mobile device whilst they’re taking a break or getting work done in a Coffee Shop makes this environment an absolute must in driving mobile engagement.

You can learn more about advertising in Coffee Shops and Cafes here, as well as see SME-focused campaigns for the likes of Microsoft, Vodafone, Virgin Media, O2, AXA PPP and more.  The formats available include a unique patented vinyl called Tablewrap, as well as branded takeaway formats like Coffee Cups, Sandwich Bags and Deli Bags, the latter all offering the opportunity for additional impact within the office environment when consumers take their coffee or lunch back to consume in the office.