From the moment they were introduced, mobile phones have changed the way in which we interact with each other and the world as a whole. As technology has advanced, mobile devices has become smarter and much more sophisticated. With the rise of applications and wireless internet, we now have the ability to interact with everything, whether it be business, leisure or just general information, at the touch of a button. This has also meant that the business world could utilise mobile technology as another way in which to connect with potential consumers. Whilst smartphone popularity increases each and every year, the mobile marketing boom has never quite took off in the way it was predicted to. Current trends are showing that this could be about to change and it may be the case that companies need to take notice of their mobile infrastructure if they hope to stay in the game.
Traditionally, the number of users who browse the web using a standard computer is always higher than those using a mobile. This has been one of the main problems with the mobile model and therefore the amount of attention it gets from business. Technological advancements such as 4G has meant that more and more people are using their smartphones outside of the home. This has meant that the gap between mobile and non-mobile based internet browsing is getting smaller. It is likely that the same amount of people are browsing the net but more people are choosing to use their smartphone instead of their desktop or laptop computer. There could be many reasons behind this trend- convenience, more time away from the home, ease of use, but whatever the reason this phenomenon is going to affect the way in which business interacts with the smartphone.
Although we can’t generalise across all companies, there is a noticeable lack of attention on mobile interfaces when compared with desktop based systems. In light of the current climate, it has never been more important to ensure that your mobile infrastructure is just as comprehensive as your general online environment. Her are just some of the main areas which should looked at to make sure your business is fully prepared for the mobile age:
- One of the main differences between the online and mobile online experience is the layout of the screen. Websites on mobile devices are often altered to fit the screen and can sometime be difficult to traverse, discouraging visitors to stay. The way in which to combat this problem is to ensure that your mobile website is just as sophisticated as your normal site. This means designing a layout that is easy to view, accessible and attractive.
- Media consumption is one of the main culprits behind this increase in mobile usage. With this in mind, vendors should make sure that their content is just as easy to access via mobile as it is on the desktop and laptop. This is especially important as many users are opting to watch TV, movies and listen to music from their phone rather than their static devices and this likely to be a sign of things to come.
- Connectivity in between different devices is also incredibly important and has already been adopted by various different organisations. Users like to be able to jump from their phone to their tablet or laptop, seamlessly and their ability to achieve this could affect whether or not they utilise a service. One example of this type of connectivity is Netflix as users can watch a movie on their phone, pause it and then pick up where they left off on their laptop or smart TV. Many other companies are also utilising this idea by allowing users to upload their pictures and videos to the cloud and then access them elsewhere from any of their devices.
- One of the main shifts from desktop to mobile involve search engines with more people choosing to google from their phone. With programs such as SIRI and Google Now, many smartphones are now completely integrated with search engines and this will only increase the move to mobile searching. One of the problems within this area is that search results tend to look completely different on a smart phone and can therefore affect the results that users click on. Another problem is with advertising as desktop searching often allows for a greater visibility of advertisements when compared with mobile searching. This means that users are much less likely to click on sponsored results and therefore a large consumer base is being untapped.
Mobile technology has been around for a while now and although we have seen great advancements in the way this technology interacts with business, it is likely that the best is yet to come and companies need to be prepared in order to benefit.