Business in the digital age is defined by rapid evolution and the continual introduction of new technologies – and mobile technology certainly falls under that category. Over the course of the last decade, we’ve witnessed incredible developments in the functionality and connectivity of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, all of which have combined to revolutionize the way we view the concept of particular industries.
In fact, it’s hard to believe that it’s just over a decade since the likes of Apple and Google first introduced their respective mobile app stores. Since then, the popularity of mobile devices has spread like wildfire. The latest stats from industry thinktank Tech Jury reveal that the number of mobile tech users has quickly flown past the 200 million mark and is set to reach 275 million by 2022. It’s a stat that cannot be ignored, especially when you consider that the average consumer spends more than five hours per day on their smartphone or mobile device.
That’s why companies across every conceivable industry are devising ways to ensure their products or services are marketed and made available to purchase in the palm of their customers’ hands. With that in mind, we’re here to take a quick look at three major sectors in which mobile tech has already had an incredible impact. Let’s dive straight in.
Gone are the days when businesses were content with shelling out cash to secure a branded billboard or an advert in local newspapers and magazines. Instead, businesses are making the most of social media platforms to advertise their products and services, taking advantage of the hours that consumers spend every single day trawling through their news feed.
One major benefit of this is the ability to target key demographics that are likely to have a stronger natural interest in an advertisement. For instance, companies can filter their ads by criteria such as age, location, interests, and hobbies, ensuring that each advertisement is shown only to their target audience.
It’s no surprise that the likes of Facebook and Instagram are leading the pack – earning roughly $15 billion (Facebook) and $3 billion (Instagram) every single year in total ad revenue. Instagram is also reportedly working on a method that will allow users to purchase items directly from a post, something which is bound to see conversion rates skyrocket even further in the near future.
As for the types of ads that we’re seeing these days, video content is quickly becoming a format of choice for many companies looking to maximize consumer engagement with their brand. Again, platforms like Instagram and Snapchat allow businesses to post adverts in between stories, which makes for a more engaging advertising experience for the user.
Online dating has been going through somewhat of a revolution over the past decade too, largely thanks to the ongoing development of mobile technology, 4G connectivity and the emergence of modern dating services and applications. In fact, the previous stigma around online dating has almost completely been removed as more people than ever are using their smartphones as a convenient matchmaking tool to find prospective partners.
Recent research from Statista revealed that just under 34 million Americans are now using online dating services, an unprecedented figure that shows the scale of expansion we’re currently seeing within the industry. It also found that the total revenue generated by the online dating industry in 2018 reached a whopping $555 million – and that figure is projected to grow even more in the coming years, with a further estimate of $649 million expected by 2023.
Each brand is also doing its best to innovate in this area, in order to attract the interest of more users. The mobile app developed by dating network Badoo has risen to the forefront of the industry by offering new features like mobile video chats and the ability to see people who they’ve ‘bumped into’ in their local area, no matter if they’re in Edinburgh, New York or anywhere, really. No doubt we’ll continue to see even more functionalities added over the coming years as more and more online dating services look to corner a bigger share of what’s proving to be a very lucrative industry.
Mobile technology has completely changed the way we think about shopping online, with many people now using their smartphone or tablet as their preferred method of browsing for products and services. Again, the stats don’t lie: Mobile sales amounted to 34.5% of all ecommerce sales in 2017 – and that number is continuing to grow year on year. By 2021, experts predict that figure will hit 54% of total ecommerce sales.
Retailers across the board are now investing heavily in the development of mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites, both of which are proving essential for those looking to convert more online consumers. Stuart McMillan, Head of Ecommerce at footwear giant Schuh, offers a prime example. He recently shared some very revealing insights on Twitter that clearly show the development of user trends from 2012 to 2018, with mobile traffic rising from just 13% to over 77% in those six years. It’s no surprise then that we’re already beginning to see a much stronger focus on mobile UX and CRO compared with the traditional desktop format.
Established physical stores are also introducing tablets and other interactive mobile devices into their retail outlets, offering customers the option to browse a digital catalog or quickly check the availability of certain items in stock. This melding of physical and mobile selling is becoming more and more commonplace across every major retailer.
An eye to the future
While we’re already seeing the huge impact that mobile technology is making across these various industries, we should also remember that this is just the beginning. As the capabilities of smartphones and tablets continue to develop, so too will the approach taken by companies looking to promote and sell their goods and services. Emerging technologies like AR and artificial intelligence tools look set to make an even bigger impact in years to come.
One thing’s for sure: It’s certainly an exciting time for both businesses and consumers, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store!