The State of Mobile

Mobile has changed the way consumers shop this past year and will have a huge impact in 2013, as even more consumers switch to smart phones and take advantage of mobile applications.

TechBargains states in a recent survey that most of the shoppers that are using mobile apps while shopping [90%] are checking prices and looking for digital coupons while they are in the store.  Compared to two years ago, TechBargains states that then just over half of them  [58%] used mobile applications to do so, while a year ago 73% are doing so. Additionally it is important to note that just about 80% are using tablets to complete purchases.

Key to note from their survey is that 83% of iPad owners make mobile purchases, 76% of iPhone owners make mobile purchases and 71% of Android owners do. Additionally 73% of tablet owners will use their device to do product research and 71% of tablet owners will utilize their devices to get stock information.

This shows a definite trend that consumers are more apt to buy products from Android devices than they were in the past, closing the gap with Apple devices.

What trends should you watch for or be working into your app development project? Here are the big ones that we think you should be keeping an eye on:

With the success of Siri we will see is mobile application developers pushing more voice recognition features in the applications for various mobile devices. Voice capabilities are starting to work their way into  more and more iPhone apps and Android apps and they could be a big item in 2013 and really change the face of the mobile application market. With voice recognition you can really streamline tasks and this is a key area to look towards as a next step in mobile integration.

Another key area to look at is ways that you can leverage data to create a more relevant user experience. The opportunity to collect the data is available, are you planning to collect an utilize it? By doing so you will be able to create better user experiences and deliver better opportunities to advertisers to maximize their ad spend value.

Android OS Leading Smart Phone Market

Analyst firm International Data Corporation recently released their analysis of the mobile phone market and it shows Android to be far out in the lead of other smart phone mobile operating systems with 68.3 percent of the market in 2012. Apple’s iOS for the iPhone is a distant second at 18.8 percent of the market and all other operating systems are below 5 percent.

Interesting to note, yet not surprising, is that almost all the growth in the mobile phone market is in smart phones.

Projections by International Data Corporation anticipate Android to remain the leader through at least 2016 in this report but with share dropping to anticipated 63.8 percent of the market in the year 2016. They anticipate Android continuing to lead the market because it is available to sell to a great mass of customers, iPhones are seen as a premium product that are “…cost prohibitive for some users within many emerging markets”. International Data Corporation suggest that if Apple wants to increase their amount of market share, that they will need to add lower-priced models into their product mix.

BlackBerry is estimated by International Data Corporation to maintain about their current percent of the market based on their “…pockets of strength in higher-growth emerging markets.” They are not anticipated to have much of an impact on the market beyond that though. They participant to watch is Windows Phone. Right now they have a 2.6% share of the market but with Microsoft’s strong financial position, brand recognition and multiple handset makers, they are projecting Windows Phone share jumping to 11.4% in 2016.

This clearly affects the decision making process when it comes to the mixture of apps to develop for your business. Developing Android applications and iPhone applications are “no-brainers” but business’ need to start considering adding Windows Phone applications into their marketing mix to take advantage of that emerging market.

Mobile Shopping to Skyrocket over 50% in Next 24 Months

Today Juniper Research issued an important new white paper stating that the number of consumers purchasing physical goods remotely via their mobile handsets is expected to increase by nearly 50% over the next two years.

The report goes on to state that numbers will go up to to 580 million purchasers by the end of 2014, up from 393 million this year, further stating that this is due to greater consumer confidence in the mobile device as both a browsing and payment tool. It also shows the increasing importance of mobile as an eCommerce channel, with a large up-shift in mobile as a proportion of online transactions.

The report also states that the average size of mobile purchases would continue to rise, driven by larger volumes of regular, high-value transactions.

Are businesses ready to capitalize on these trends?

According to Juniper Research in the same report, the growth in this area will be constrained by the fact that a majority of retailer sites are not properly optimized for mobile browsing or purchasing. According to Dr. Windsor Holden, “Consumers increasingly expect to be able to buy their products and services via their smartphones and tablets. Companies which do not offer this option face falling behind their competitors.”

There is clearly enormous opportunities for businesses that are willing to maximize there exposure to the market place with properly built mobile applications for both the iPhone and Android platforms as well as mobile web friendly web sites.

Other key numbers

Some of the other numbers that are mentioned in the report are simply staggering. The total annual transaction values from remotely purchased digital and physical goods will hit $730 billion within five years. And we are seeing a fast moving trend of eCommerce moving to smartphones and tablets where the average tablet transaction size already exceed those of desktop and laptop computers. Clearly the purchasing isn’t just a migration, but rather consumers are increasing in their level of confidence for purchasing remotely overall.

If you don’t have mobile applications or at a minimum a mobile friendly web site for your business, now it clearly the time to do so.

If you would like to read all the details in Juniper Research’s fascinating new report, you can download it here.