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Highlights from day one of MobileBeat 2014



Mobile TectonicsMobileBeat, VentureBeat’s seventh annual event on the future of mobile, is underway in San Francisco. They have a pretty powerful lineup of speakers which includes VPs and CEOs from both the retail side (Sephora, Walmart, Threadless) and platform side (Google Analytics, Facebook, LinkedIn).

There’s a lot going on, so I thought I’d take a moment to serve up some of the highlights from the conference so far.

Imagine a web without URLs

LinkedIn vice president of mobile Joff Redfern says his network is working on a way to seamlessly link up all of LinkedIn’s six different apps. Right now, if you want to hop from the regular LinkedIn feed app to the very specific job app, you have to logout, open a second app and login. Redfern wants you to be able to go from one to the other with a single click, just like you can go from one website to another on the internet. He also wants people to be able to go seamlessly from device to device.

“I really appreciate that I can watch something [on Netflix] in my living room…. Then go upstairs in bed and pull out my tablet,” says Redfern. Imagine if all of your apps were that flexible.

 

 

Going beyond the app install

Google’s head of performance media Jason Spero talked about the importance of customer re-engagement in regard to apps. Developers pour lots of time and money into getting people to install, but thanks to ads, in-game purchases and upgrades, the real money is in the return visit.

 

“The lesson for developers, then, is to create an app that can easily become a part of someone’s daily routine. Spero pointed to GrubHub and Seamless as apps that have managed to do that for him. Since they can save his payment credentials and remember his food preferences, they’ve become and indispensable way to get food on demand. . “

20 percent of Walmart stores are now online fulfillment centers

Walmart’s global head of mobile Gibu Thomas tells us that 1 in every 5 Walmart stores is now an online fulfillment center. Last Thanksgiving, 53% of Walmart’s online traffic came from mobile and first time mobile sales are up three times over last year.

In addition to online usage, Walmart is also encouraging in-store use.

“If you have a device that you can act on at the moment you feel the urge to research a product or buy a product, that’s a very good thing for us.”

Thomas says Walmart is working on a version of their mobile app that will detect when a customer is in-store then offer them coupons and other options based on their location. What a great idea!

That’s it for now but there’s plenty more coming as MobileBeat 2014 looks at the future of mobile marketing.

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