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Everybody is talking (about) Plastic Mobile! With school season right around the corner, SPC’s timely release of its renewed mobile app allows students to find more opportunities to save money. The redesigned mobile app has caught more than the attention of students, who are flocking to the Apple App Store, but it also has the media turning its heads.

Marketing Magazine spent time with Canada’s largest student loyalty program to discuss its new look and shift to a digital value proposition, as well as the creators of the app. SPC partnered with Plastic Mobile to develop an enhanced mobile app with an updated look which will align with the companies brand.

It’s time for back to school shopping with SPC! Tweet us what you think about the new SPC mobile app @plasticmobile

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Not long ago user experience (UX) meant creating designs and the general look and feel of a website. Features were limited as internet connection speeds were much slower than what we know and expect today so design was kept to functional requirements. The practice today encompasess much more than design, with consideration to content as well as context and is for the most part led by user experience design experts. This means that not only do they have to design strategically, but also include the latest trends to ensure the digital experiences they create are both accessible and meaningful.

With the emergence of mobile, user experience practices were born out of a “shotgun” environment while designers all over the world tried to nail down what works and what doesn’t. The results landed on simplistic, responsive, and uniform design. The latest iteration of this trend is Material Design where content is layout out in a card based system for easy reading and navigation. Responsive design is also still making its rounds en mass as the mobile world introduces more screens of varying sizes, and content becomes even more of the focus. The aim of user experience now is trending towards accessibility and simplicity as these devices continue to diversify.

Technology is providing new and exciting ways to interact with the consumers and mobile has quickly taken center stage as the opportunity for highly personal connection to the end user are a marketers dream. MUX’ers otherwise know as one of Canada’s biggest Mobile User eXperience communities are getting together next week further explore the this fast paced evolution with 2 great speakers; Andrea Ong Pietkiewicz & Andrew Chak of Telus and TD Bank respectively. As supporters of the group we’d like to congratulate the group on 3 years of defining mobile user experience in our ecosystem. As the devices we use evolve, user experience design practices are evolving as well.

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Just recently Zillow acquired Trulia, turning this industries two biggest online real estate databases into a mega-player. Up until now, this industry has yet to join the revolution in digital ad sales, despite the popularity and success other industries have found.

Plastic COO, Melody Adhami, tells Mobile Marketer  “The ideology and acceptance of ad sales on mobile and web haven’t quite reached mass acceptance. This is especially true with real estate since it is a very traditional business that’s been later to adapt to the digital and mobile game,” However, Melody also mentions that “Having a cross-brand reach creates better value driven and smart ads. Zillow and Trulia will also have a better control on the market, streamlining web experiences and creating higher standards.”

This acquisition could speed up and increase the popularity in ad sales. As well, create more meaningful advertisements. “Since both websites have target audiences that are consistent, it not only enables ads to reach a broader audience, but it also encourages more user experience and interactivity,”

At Plastic Mobile we’ve been intentionally steering clear of mobile ads in our client’s mobile and responsive properties. Since most ads don’t contribute to the content and context of a mobile experience. That said, Melody believes “ads do have a place in the digital realm, as long as brands know how their consumers are using and engaging with them, they can effectively reach them with meaningful ads.”

Click here to read the original article.

 

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With any service that deals directly with customers, providing easily accessible information about products and services is a top priority. Specifically in the hydro space, providing consumers with a mobile optimized experience has bolstered convenience to all sorts of information – from tracking usage, viewing monthly bills and making payments.

Outside these obvious features and functionalities, what are other things customers would appreciate from hydro companies looking to go mobile?

Below are three considerations that may not be on your radar.

Energy Conservation

For one, the growth in environmentally conscious consumers and continued need for energy conservation awareness. Educate residential and commercial customers on how they can work towards conserving energy by providing tips, online tools to manage use and awareness on incentives. An added bonus? Going mobile saves on the cost and waste of paper.

Outages

Another consideration is providing a channel where hydro companies can communicate with customers on outages. Whether it be reporting, tracking or status updates – providing this information in one accessible area is an easy way to keep customers in the know, especially if time is an issue. Another added bonus? Cut down on call centre costs with the efficiencies and centralization of information online.

Simplicity

Customers respond far better to a familiar, simplified experience than an outlandish design and content. Keep in mind that the information should be easily found, read and understood.  If they can access company information, product detail, payment options, etc., all within a single experience, satisfaction is guaranteed.

The fact of the matter is, mobile allows every brand the opportunity to to reach their consumers relatively easily, but think outside the box and take advantage of the of the platform to provide the best possible experience.

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Last November, we released a study on Neuromarketing called The Science Behind Mobile Design – where our research team partnered with neuromarketing firm True Impact and went beyond customer feedback and surveys to show exactly how the brain responds during mobile user experiences. Not even a year later, the groundbreaking research is still making its way around the web,  even appearing in different languages. From brands to consumers – people have reference our findings to continue to prove the importance of mobile design.

We are definitely pleased to see these findings being used to back up the importance of designing a mobile winning initiative. That being said, feel free to get the full experience and read our original study which provides a comprehensive summary of the results and insights from studying the mobile purchase journeys of the Best Buy, Hyatt and Pizza Pizza apps.

Our team has presented these findings all across North America at events such as Qual360, OPS New York IV, MRIA Conference 2014, and MRMW.

Not only do we have the awards to prove we know what we are doing, but we also have science behind us. Thank you for all the circulation and appreciation!

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When it comes to responsive web design, a mobile-first strategy is our secret ingredient. Since 2012, we have produced award winning clients from Pizza Pizza to London Hydro to Royal LePage for our responsive web initiatives. While these three industries have different needs, products and customers, the one thing that they do all have in common is that their users are on mobile. Which is why when we develop our responsive websites for our clients, we make sure optimizing for mobile is a top priority.

In the last couple of years, our responsive web initiatives has won our team a ton of awards including Pizza Pizza for which we won an Official Honoree for the Webby’s, Royal LePage multiple Horizon Interactive Awards, Communicator Award AND a Davey Award. Most recently, our client London Hydro received a Creativity International Media & Interactive Award.

In February, mobile usage surpassed PC usage and is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether through mobile web or app, this platform has become the more popular choice of accessing the internet. However, when it comes to using this medium, mobile users aren’t exactly patience or forgiving. Therefore, having an optimal mobile web experience can make or break the experience.

Be sure to check through our case studies to see our thinking and processes behind these projects.

 

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With summer slowly coming to an end, it’s no doubt students have back to school shopping on their minds. These Digital Natives have high expectations when it comes to technology and are without a doubt very active smartphone users. So it only makes sense for SPC, Canada’s largest student loyalty program, to team up Plastic to be meeting their users where they are, and make sure they are delivering the most relevant experience possible.

And after only a few short months, we are excited to announce that you can now download the revitalized mobile app with features like weekly push notifications, locked offers, mobile exclusive deals along with SPC’s traditional savings and deals. These savvy consumers (and their parents!) will now have their smartphone and savings needs combined and fulfilled.

Along with these new mobile features, students can enjoy deals from more than 120 retailers to buy supplies and fresh new looks. Easily find all the stores in your area that accept the SPC Card, check store offers on-the-go and even build a member profile for offers just for you.

While we may not be able to hang and be hip with this crowd, give them the latest fashion advice, know which way wearing your backpack is cool, or the latest slang, we at least know one thing that hasn’t gone out of style; discounts and mobile. Good-luck this year students!

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Net-A-Porter, an online based luxury retailer, recently ventured into high-end sports wear. While in the past, fashion and sportswear have merely flirted, Net-A-Sporter brings the two together for what seems to be a long-lasting relationship.

Promoted through online banners on The Cut – Net-A-Porter is hoping to reach a demographic it believes is highly relevant. The ad prompts users to download or open the brands mobile app. Plastic COO, Melody Adhami commented on this strategy in Luxury Daily saying “Since both brands have a target audience overlap, the click-to-download of the Net-A-Porter app is a great way to captivate an inherently interested audience.”

By directing users to download the app, Net-A-Porter is increasing their chance of success. “Our research has proven that users spend more time in app than any other mobile function,” says Melody Adhami, “This strategy to influence readers to download or open the app is a great way to predispose Net-A-Porter users to becoming more engaged with the brand.”

Mobile users are excellent candidates for retailers to introduce new products. Net-A-Sporter is also using a video to showcase the line. Having the video offered on the app significantly increases the chances of it being viewed, as mobile and tablet shoppers are 300% more likely to view a video vs. laptop or desktop users.

While we can’t be sure sportswear and luxury is a match made in heaven, we can definitely say Net-A-Sporter is making all the right moves. Sweat on in style my friends!

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Did you know that if it takes more than 500 milliseconds to load a page there is a 20% drop in traffic? And that 80% of page that load time is because of front end images, styles, HTML, fonts, etc?

Slow loading time invokes frustration and usually its because there’s either too much content to load, or the content isn’t optimized for some mobile devices. Responsive web design has streamlined this by making web pages more adaptive to smaller and larger screens.

However responsive web design can only be so fast and sometimes there’s only so much fat you can trim. This is why there are still some mobile only websites and desktop only websites, because it allows the best experience without the extra loading time.

So what’s the difference? Responsive web design takes place on the users device so when a smart phone accesses a responsive website it downloads everything. Whereas adaptive delivery is a server side function that grabs the device information and modifies the webpage to best deliver the content. The result is a smaller webpage that can be downloaded and displayed much faster.

That means if you open a website that uses this adaptive, the page you will see would have been custom made for your device. Where as responsive would have modified the content to fit. Adaptive delivery essentially brings all the joys of responsive web design without long loading times that can annoy your visitors.

Adaptive is a god send if you have a wide range of media on your website that may not be need for some mobile devices. Take lower end smart phones with smaller screens, is it really necessary that a large hi-res image take up half their screen? Why not an use an optimized image that can be displayed properly and quickly on their device? or no image at all? This is what adaptive delivery is meant to solve, so users can get to your content faster and presented just for their device.

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Summer in the Hampton’s is a highly coveted weekend affair, and for some it can be a getaway wrought with traffic and time spent in transit. Well, it didn’t take long to find a mobile solution and now there’s an app for those less inclined to to wait in dense weekend gridlock.

Similar to Uber, the Fly Blade app provides a helicopter service to New Yorkers heading to the Hamptons, with just three taps of a finger. Since helicopter availability can sometimes be unpredictable, there is always the option of using the app to have a chauffeured Maserati escort you to the beach.

Plastic COO, Melody Adhami commented on the app in Luxury Daily saying, “The affluent demographics that Blade is targeting has a much higher smartphone penetration than the average populace, and all of our user research of the past 3 consecutive years has revealed that the urban affluent demographic doesn’t put a limit on the size of the transaction they will comfortably complete on their smartphones.”

With the rise of trust in mobile banking, it is not surprising that higher amounts in transactions don’t scare people away. Many mobile users are comfortable making payments or transactions using their smartphones since the highest priority is time and convenience.

As for the Maserati, Melody says, “It adds value by reassuring clients that they will arrive at their destination without any additional effort on their part. Not only are they guaranteed arrival, they don’t have to sacrifice on luxury.”

So, if you don’t feel like waiting in weekend traffic to get to the Hamptons this Summer, at least you know there are luxurious alternatives.