2,800 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Editor's Note: Andrés Uribe of Expedition PR writes in to explain why mobile presents a huge opportunity for crowdfunding platforms.
It’s undeniable that the rate at which Americans are adapting to mobile technologies is impressive to say the least. Currently, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013, 56% of American adults are now smartphone owners.
This number increases dramatically when you look at American adults between the ages of 24 – 35 earning $100,000 or more a year; over 87% in this category own a smartphones. Coincidently, when you look at who is contributing to crowdfunding campaigns, according to the American Dream Composite Index, it’s 24-35 year olds earning $100,000 or more.
Additionally, according to an 11Mark Survey, 75% of people bring their phones with them to the bathroom (and according to a Wilson Electronics study, 15% of people have answered their phones while having sex). Given that the smartphone is used by over 87% of the people who are most likely to contribute to crowdfunding campaigns, and they are on their smartphones nearly all the time, most crowdfunding sites should have a mobile app. Unfortunately though, this is not the case.
Only one out of the top five crowdfunding sites, according to a recent Forbes article, has a mobile app (Kickstarter just launched an app in February of this year). Given that a mobile app is such a natural platform for a crowdfunding sites to be on, it’s a wonder why more sites haven’t developed an app yet. So in an effort to help crowdfunding sites realize the importance of a mobile app, here are two more reasons why crowdfunding sites need mobile apps:
There is a strong link between the success rate of a crowdfunding campaign and social media interaction during the campaign. According to Fundable.com, for every order of magnitude increase in Facebook friends, 10, 100, 1000, the probability of success increases drastically, 9%, 20%, 40%, respectfully.
There is also a strong link between social media usage and mobile apps. According to Edison Research, 54% of Facebook users have accessed the site via a mobile phone, and 33% use a phone as their primary way to access Facebook. And Twitter says that 60% of their users access the site through a mobile device. Both these statistics have shown steady increase over the years.
Currently though, there is no link (except for Kickstarter) between top crowdfunding sites and mobile apps. Should someone access their social media network from a mobile device (which, as previously mentioned, is common) and see an ad for a friend’s crowdfunding campaign, their options for donating on the spot are bleak. They would either have to attempt to navigate a site that has no mobile app and is not even mobile optimized (none of the top 5 previously mentioned have mobile optimized websites), or they would have to go and find computer before they contribute funds. Based on these scenarios, one might infer that a crowdfunding site that made it easy for users to convert over mobile has the potential to see a higher campaign success rate.
If you’ve ever walked up to a cash register, saw something cool at the last second and bought it, then you know the feeling of an impulse buy. Something really sparked your interest, your wallet was already out and it only took you an extra second to give it to the cashier and make the purchase. You never really had a chance. Well this phenomenon is no longer restricted to last minuet in store purchases.
According to a study by Rackspace, 17% of respondents said that mobile devices have increased their impulse purchases. Even more interesting though, among 18-34 year olds, 62% admitted to impulse buying with their mobile devices. Or in other words, a large portion of one of the main groups who contribute to crowdfunding projects are impulsively pouring money away on their smartphones, yet the majority of crowdfunding sites seem uninterested in capturing a piece of this pie.
While it is possible to go on with statistics about the power of mobile when it comes to consumer interaction and spending, I’ll save you and leave you with this Slideshare from Mobify and a quick summary instead; mobile is projected to clear $243.5 billion in transactions this year and will do more than double that by 2015. While crowdfunding has seen considerable growth recently, over the past three years especially, there is still room for considerable gains. I look forward to reading stats on how mobile is contributing to Kickstarter, and eventually all crowdfunding campaign’s success rates and dollars raised.