Wondering where mobile will head next? Is this the “year of the mobile”?
A couple of interesting insights and trends I’ve read over the last few days lead me to believe that we, as consumers, are going to look at our mobile devices to maximize every moment of our lives.
More content, more connection, more consumption or simply more fun! I believe there will be a mobile explosion in services and experiences that will allow us to not only multi-task but also hyper-task. Below are some of the mobile trends we at The Brandon Agency have identified as gaining momentum.
Mobile technology in the auto industry. Ford, Chevrolet, Mercedes Benz and GM are all keeping up with the trend. The Ford Focus has SYNC with MyFord Touch. Ford’s AppLink system integrates into existing apps. GM is more deeply integrated into the car and doesn’t require a Smartphone, but if you want full functionality, it will require a separate data plan. In addition, Mercedes Benz is following Chevrolet by adding Siri to some of their in-car systems. So be prepared for a whole new industry of and market for auto app developers.
Mobile payments and wallet garnering momentum. Mobile payments, or Mcommerce, include in-app purchases, Smartphone or tablet purchases, mobile POS, Square, Isis, Google Wallet, PayPal and more. Right now, 7,000 Starbucks are utilizing Square. Starbucks became the largest retailer in 2011 in the world taking mobile payments with more than $110 million in the first year. According to a recent eMarketer report, consumers in the US are projected to spend $37.4 billion on purchases made with their smartphones and tablets. I don’t think we will see credit cards or cash going away, consumers don’t trust this trend completely yet. Companies are going to have to bridge these kinds of payment services to coupons and loyalty programs to make it work.
Virtual pop-up stores. These are growing in number. China’s online supermarket Yihaodian is in the process of opening 1,000 virtual stores. Each store will be around 1,200 sq. meters and focused where smartphones are heavily used. Consumers will browse the store then using the app, use GPS to pinpoint what they have bought and process payments. Experience is key here. This leads us to believe that we will need to be on the lookout for new channels for shopping using mobile technology.
Some other hot trends in the fast growing mobile market are wearable gadgets.
Google is expected to release Internet-connected glasses later this year, and Apple’s iWatch is anticipated to be out in the market soon as well.
5” Hi-Definition Screens? What do you call it? Is it a phone or a tablet? The better question is, how will we carry it?
Waterproof phones: It could be coming to more phones on the market soon. The new Xperia Z by Sony can be kept under one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
I could go on and on, the trends are endless. But to sum it up, there are numerous advancements in mobile technology.
AND both businesses and consumers are going to have to jump on the bandwagon because it’s not going away.