The Big Benefits iPhone 6 and Apple Pay Pose for Mobile Marketers

The Big Benefits iPhone 6 and Apple Pay Pose for Mobile Marketers

By Jillian Smith, Marketing Strategist • September 25, 2014

Apple’s announcement of larger screens for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (4.7” and 5.5” respectively) makes the shift to larger mobile devices seems undeniable. Yet Android phones – now ubiquitous for their over-sized screens – already command the smartphone market with over 61% market share to Apple’s 31%. The numbers get even more pronounced worldwide.

So the news that Apple is finally caving to consumer demand for larger screens should be exciting news to mobile marketers. Why?

Because people hate small screen ads.

Mary Meeker reports in the 2014 Internet Trends that “more than 20% of all media consumption happens on mobile devices, yet mobile only represents 4% of total ad revenue.” Jason Kint, CEO of the Online Publishers Association, addresses this frustrating development. “It’s more challenging on smaller screens to have marketers’ content embedded into the experience. “Larger screens,” Klint goes on to say, “are an opportunity for brand marketers to be part of the experience.”

Just look at the difference in ad performance between smartphones and tablets – with a larger screen, tablets command a 44% higher CTR. And the gap is even wider for certain ad formats: static full-screen interstitial ads have a 500% higher CTR on tablets (3.27%) than on smartphones (0.53%).

Clearly screen size does matter when it comes to the success of mobile ads.

Enter the new iPhone 6.

Scott Stein in his iPhone 6 review for CNET simply says, “Both of Apple’s new iPhones have better, bigger displays. And both make the iPhone 5S‘ screen seem small.” Couple that with enhanced pixel ratios (1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi/1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi), and Retina HD video, and you have the foundations of a powerful visual advertising experience.

A larger screen with larger ads means less “click mistakes” so you’re not losing money due to viewers’ “fat thumbs,” and also comes just in time for Twitter video ads and expanded Facebook video ad capabilities. The benefits here are yet to be seen, but considering people are more likely to watch videos on their tablet  than their smartphone, one could assume a larger iPhone will command more video watching than its smaller predecessor.

Looking beyond the exterior changes to the phone leads us to what many see as the iPhone 6’s most promising addition for marketers – the introduction of Apple Pay and streamlined mobile payments.

Mobile e-commerce has not grown nearly as fast as predicted – of all time spent on digital devices, mobile phones command 40% of users time, yet only 19.0% of US retail e-commerce sales will stem from mobile devices. Consumers will use their phones to research products, but when it comes to actually clicking buy, they will turn to their desktop with it’s larger screen and keyboard.

The introduction of Apply Pay changes the game by streamlining the mobile checkout process. Credit card information can now be stored in the phone so users can checkout in a matter of clicks – no typing into small forms necessary. This could be a tipping point for mobile commerce – especially with the holiday shopping season right around the corner.

It’s too soon to tell exactly how the iPhone 6’s enhanced screen and larger size, paired with the introduction of Apple Pay, will affect mobile commerce, but the implications at least seem obvious. Our advice: continue to focus on developing strategies for reaching the right people with the right ads in apps where they spend their time. Consumer shopping behavior will take some time to come around, but as mobile payments become more streamlined, we can expect to see more people transacting, not just researching, on their smartphones.