During 2017, mobile marketing became a major strategy for most companies. The main reason for this trend is that it enables small and medium-sized business to use resources that were formerly only available to global organizations. In spite of this convenient availability, many businesses are still reluctant to implement mobile technology. This may be because they lack sufficient information about the services, they have monetary constraints, or they do not see the benefits. However, companies who do not take advantage of mobile marketing are destined to not only lose money, but they risk giving their competitors the upper hand.
If you are a small business owner who is not yet implementing mobile technology, you can gain some insight by taking a look back over 2017 to see which mobile technologies were being most widely used. Whether you are a restaurant owner, a car mechanic, or a florist, mobile technology can benefit your business. What’s more, is that it’s not difficult to implement it into your business strategy for 2018, because these areas are expected to advance even further.
Mobile technology is impacting small businesses in a number of ways. Here are several examples:
- Improving business: Thanks to mobile technology, you can improve your business in a cost-effective manner. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a piece of software, you can purchase an app that will do the same things for a lot less money.
- Increasing business capabilities: Mobile technology allows you to conduct business wherever you are, on your phone or tablet. Add cloud computing to that, and you can also store or share information easily and conveniently.
- Helping expansion: Mobile tech combined with cloud-based tools make it easier and more affordable than ever for you to scale your business. Tools like, Slack, PayPal, and Google Drive significantly reduce the time it takes for companies to expand internationally.
- Making data accessible: Mobile technology puts data at your fingertips. These days your business can stay in touch with data in ways that would not have been possible just a few years ago. You can have easy access to your client accounts via live dashboards whether you’re at your desk or having a business lunch.
- Enhancing communication: You can use mobile technology to keep your employees in touch with each other no matter where they are with easy-to-use apps like Slack. This type of service also presents a useful way to stay in touch with clients.
- Retaining flexibility: The ability to work anytime, anywhere is a valuable asset these days for you and your employees, especially if you are part of the global market and you’re working in different time zones. Flexibility also helps keep your workforce happy.
Trends in Mobile Technology from 2017
Android Instant Apps
Android Instant Apps allow business owners to host app interfaces on their websites so that customers can use the app without having to download it to their mobile device. This means that consumers can use the app any time without having to commit to keeping it on their phone or tablet.
Adding AI to apps boosts their power and value significantly. AI-enhanced apps can adapt to whoever is using them. For example, personal assistant apps allow the user to ask for certain things such as searching for information, reading email, making a call, and finding a document.
Location Based Services
This type of service uses GPS data to control its features. For example, mobile apps can alert customers of offers and special events when they are close to your business. Promotional alerts can be created specifically for individual users based on their purchasing history and their personal preferences.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) makes just about everything smart. This type of integration became a driving force in 2017. Streaming technologies are already available in many areas of daily life such as televisions, watches, and even coffee pots. Mobile apps are allowing consumers to control more and more aspects of their lives from the interface of their mobile device. In the business world, such a level of interconnectivity can be used to accumulate large amounts of data, which can help you become more aware of each of your customer’s needs.
Augmented reality makes information available through the use of an interface; usually by means of a mobile device. For example, a customer is refurbishing her kitchen and isn’t sure which appliances to buy. AR can help her to see what each different model would look like in her home.
Security has become a critical issue for consumers, particularly because of the increased interest in data businesses from hackers. In an effort to combat these threats, mobile security software is rapidly advancing. It has to consistently protect the information which is required for mobile technology to run successfully. Due to constantly evolving threats, 2017 saw mobile security at the forefront of trending technology. As a business owner, mobile security is vital if you want customers to trust your systems.
What the Future Holds
In the coming year, these areas of mobile technology will continue to expand rapidly. One area to keep an eye on includes IoT, where you can expect to see an increase in wearable apps to help you control things in your environment.
Another upcoming trend is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Lazy loading is always an issue because if a page takes too long to load, visitors will bounce. AMP speeds up page loading on mobile devices.
Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular, and customers who are shopping online have been using internet banking for some time. With the introduction of Google Wallet and Apple Pay, this trend is stretching even further as more customers switch to mobile commerce.
To make shopping even easier, 2018 will see more use of biometrics such as fingerprints, voice ID, and facial recognition to verify your merchant identity. It will also add to the security of mobile payments.
On-demand apps will be even more in demand in 2018. Their ease of use and convenience is what makes them so popular for finding things like restaurants laundry services, taxi services, and food delivery.
2018 is sure to bring some interesting new developments to the realm of mobile technology. One this is for certain, consumers are ready to adapt and accept these changes as quickly as they arise.