Do you know your m-commerce from your elbow? Guest blogger Camille McClane gives us a rundown of hot-stuff future mobile tech innovations for entrepreneurs. Ignore at your own peril.
It’ll come as no surprise to hear that between 2009 and 2012, smartphones’ sales outpaced the number of desktop and laptop computers sold worldwide.
Not to be outdone, tablets are rumored to overtake laptop, desktop and smartphone sales numbers in the near future as well. While mobile technology continues to grow in popularity amongst consumers because of their unlimited convenience and usability that rivals cumbersome laptops and desktops, it’s not exactly shocking that more and more business is being conducted on these devices as well.
We’re already seeing that an estimated 80% of entrepreneurs use smartphones to handle the day-to-day grind of running their businesses. It seems like many of us are finally putting the Productivity section of the iTunes app store to good use. Maybe the growing familiarity of the smartphone is making it a little less distracting.
How entrepreneurs are using mobile technology:
According to a PeoplePerHour study of 2,000 business owners, nearly three-quarters are relying on those apps to improve productivity. Some of the favorites among both employees and those calling the shots include Google Drive, Evernote, Square, LinkedIn, Skype, and Docusign.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners alike are attributing customer engagement, mobile advertising, m-commerce and internal productivity as the primary motivators behind the increased role mobile technology has in their workplace.
Increasing customer engagement through mobile apps:
If you boil it all down, this entire process does stand to improve the relationship and engagement level between a business and their clientele. One might call it “participative marketing and communication,” where businesses are able to reach out in a more personal and genuine manner.
What’s the result? — an increase in the amount of interaction with customers, leading to more leads and more sales. In layman’s terms: everything a company strives for on a daily basis.
As the mobile market continues to expand, mobile advertising is set to become a far more crucial aspect of even the old-school entrepreneur’s advertising plans — so no more ads in the Yellow Pages.
Mobile apps have even grown past static online banner ads and are capturing customer’s attention using the following methods:
- Location-based Services
- Pay-for-Performance Model
- Targeted, Content-Based Advertising
So in addition to having ecommerce sites that are optimized for mobile ad systems with these qualities, businesses should also consider venturing into app development as it’s going to improve their odds of reaching the mobile community at large.
Sure, it’s new territory, but with so many users getting cozier with their mobile devices, it’s territory that businesses simply must explore.
What’s even more compelling is the increase in Near Field Communication (NFC) embedded devices that rely on wireless and mobile payments without any need for a card; much less cash.
This means that businesses can expect to see more opportunities to streamline the checkout and purchase process in the future, as well as more demand and expectation of that kind of technology.
Right along with improving marketing and distribution channels, entrepreneurs can expect to see mobile technology increase internal productivity in the following areas:
- Cloud Base Software as a Service Apps
- Automated Workforce Elements
- Sales Management
- Accounting Management
What service providers will have to do to keep up with increasing business demands on mobile platforms:
From the business and consumer users’ perspectives, the mobile experience relies on the speed with which data is received and sent. The overall speed depends on two components: the device connectivity speed, and the speed that comes from infrastructure.
4G is poised to drive the industry into 2015. There’s an expectation, based on forecasting, that combined with connectivity, speed growth will result in future high-speed Internet being four times greater by 2015 than in 2011. Wide-coverage Wi-Fi hotspot networks are expected to grow to support the boom in smart mobile devices, and by checking out reviews and guides online for broadband and ISP providers, and by utilizing the features on reviews and guides site BroadbandExpert, consumers can find the appropriate and most efficient service available to them.
This means that the business community is transitioning into accommodating “mobile-savvy” businesses over anyone else. If you’re not in that camp, there has never been a better time to jump on board.
Your ability to interact with current and potential customers as well as your company’s own internal productivity all stands to benefit along with the growth of mobile technology. If this requires that you learn some new gadgets and systems, then do it! It’s well worth the effort.
By Camille McClane