Looking Forward to a Smarter World
With households and businesses having ever-increasing access to multiple mobile devices, the demand for new mobile services and an enhanced experience has never been greater.
In a short time, smartphones have completely changed the way we communicate and use the Internet and 2014 looks set to usher in a new phase of rapidly diversifying mobile use. Expectation is high and mass demand for new and improved services has the potential to change everyday life beyond what we recognize today.
Amy Harris, Community Manager for the business phone website Expert Market, discusses the most anticipated mobile trends for 2014:
1. Mobile Spends, Searches & Revenues
Shopping online is nothing new but consumers are becoming increasingly empowered to do so with the introduction of more mobile devices and services.
No longer having the restriction of waiting to get in front of their computer, they can now shop from anywhere and at any time, and the mobile migration of shopping is looking to steadily increase throughout 2014.
Reports by Custora for Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2013 saw a drop in revenue coming from computers, from 90.4 per cent in 2012 to 73.2 per cent in 2013.
The reason is not a decrease in online sales but rather an increase in making purchases from mobile devices.
Sales from mobile phones had increased from 1.8 to 4.4 per cent during the same period, and sales from tablets were up from 7.8 to 22.4 per cent – a considerable transfer to mobile devices of 176 per cent.
2. The Guided Search
Thanksgiving and Black Friday also saw mobile devices account for around 40 per cent of all paid search spend. Clearly, shopping is going to become more of a mobile activity than ever before and, as a result, marketers will have to expand their plans to include multi-device strategies to keep up.
Just ensuring a website can be viewed correctly on multiple devices is no longer sufficient. Mobile customers do not have time to browse as they would on a computer, so online businesses will have to utilize their customer data in a more sophisticated way in order to present searching customers with fewer but more relevant and better thought out recommendations.
Content marketing will become even more popular but the poorly written SEO articles of the past will no longer be acceptable. Content for 2014 will have to be well written, customer focused dialog offering far more value to individuals looking for a mobile experience that matches their lifestyle, environment and growing expectations.
3. Biometric Alternatives to Passwords
Consumers love to have their content and information at their fingertips at all times and are accessing more and more services via the cloud and across multiple mobile devices.
However, logging in to retrieve that information is becoming a nightmare, and with demands for longer and more complex passwords that are becoming impossible to remember, consumer frustration is on the increase.
In 2014, consumers will be looking for biometric alternatives to passwords – along the lines of the technology they see on TV and in movies where they will be able to use their fingerprint or eye-recognition via the camera in their mobile to unlock their devices and even authorize online credit card payments.
4. Voice & Sound Interaction
The quality of voice interaction on mobile devices will become increasingly important in 2014. Keying in can be problematic on the move when you want to retrieve information or perform a function quickly.
A new type of audio chip modelled on the way a human ear functions is being developed to improve the audio quality of voice calls by being aware of the user’s surroundings and suppressing background sounds like strong winds or traffic noise.
Besides improving the quality of calls, a smart device that’s always in listening mode, opens up increased opportunities for intelligent voice recognition and can even turn a device on or off without the need for touch or the inconvenient pause that usually ensues before the device is up and functioning.
5. Continuous & Consistent Connectivity
An ever-increasing dependency on mobile devices causes users to fear the loss of connectivity. It won’t matter whether it’s due to diminished battery power, signal failure or the actual loss of their mobile device, such a lack of connectivity will be intolerable and consumers will punish poor mobile experience more harshly than ever before.
Consumers are realizing that the signal bars on their smartphones are no longer a reliable indication of connectivity. A signal that’s adequate for a voice call may not be strong enough to view a video clip; finding a Wi-Fi connection isn’t always easy, and all these issues are worse when mobile.
Not only do consumers want better connectivity but they also want the means to measure what they’re getting for their money. A reliable indicator of internet coverage and speed will be a must for 2014.