Catching mobile users at washroom time

While commuters are the suspects who spend all their time with their heads down tapping away at their phones, more than 30% of Hong Kongers stick to their devices while they’re doing their business in the washroom, a mobile apps usage behavioural report by Hotmob and Nielsen found.

“This number is pretty high, and I believe no study has been done in regards to this before. Time in the washroom is users’ most private and most unsanitary time of the day – yet they still decide to take their phones inside,” said Mercer Ng, marketing manager of Hotmob, who then comically suggested apps that sell personal care products like tampons or cleansing lotions after tracking the users’ location in a washroom.

“They’re at a comfortable environment where they’re vulnerable. Marketers can create programmes that match that environment.”

The study was conducted between 22 October and 4 November 2012 where 700 answered a survey after clicking on banner ads on Headline Daily, OpenRice Hong Kong, Hong Kong Movie, Hong Kong Toolbar, Sing Tao Daily,, keymansoho and ELLE Beauty Club – all of which are under Hotmob’s network reach.

While commuting, leisure and mealtime top the charts in usage occasions in mobile apps – each earning 66%, 57% and 34%, respectively – watching TV and shopping ranked the lowest.

To no surprise, social networking garnered the most activity with more than a quarter of respondents using them; the results are closely followed by news, games and leisure apps.

Though the information users loved most remains to be discount and promotional offers with almost 80% of users visiting the brand website for further product service and information, the most popular apps are the ones that link back to the brand’s Facebook page.

“Connecting to the customer via social media by directing to the advertisers’ Facebook is a good way because customers will remember,” said Ng. “The impact is much bigger.”

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