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Mobile trends in 2013

on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 10:08

Technology advances, increased smart device penetration and new M-Commerce opportunities means 2013 is going to be an interesting year for mobile. We give our view on what the top mobile trends will be in 2013.  

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Mobile only 

In 2013 we are likely to see an increase in the number of people who only access the Internet through their mobile devices, be it tablets or on Smartphones. 

This trend will be especially prevalent in growth markets, for example in China we’ve seen an +8 percentage point increase in the number of mobile web users who only access the Internet through mobile in the last year. The mobile only trend is especially prevalent in rural areas where 45% were mobile only, compared to 29% in the city.  Full report here.  

In fact a recent report from the CINIC has reported that for the first time, mobile web has actually overtaken PC web, and a fall in Smartphone costs has been the key cause of growth. Similarly they also reported that over 50% of new Internet users were from rural areas.

For businesses this means that the mobile web is now connecting a group of people who have previously never been connected to the Internet before.  This opens up numerous opportunities for M-Commerce.

Mobile only in developed markets it also likely to increase, as it’s more convenient for people to use the Internet on their mobile – it’s already switched on and is in their pocket or next to them on the sofa.


An increase in smart devices

The number of smart devices to be sold in 2013 is predicted to be around 1.2 billion, say’s the analyst firm Gartner.

The UK and US have now passed the 50% mark for Smartphone penetration, making 2013 a very exciting year for those who are embracing mobile, and a challenging year for those who are not.

The majority of mobile devices now sold are Smartphones - the number of Smartphones in use globally passed the 1 billion mark in September this year, and with a two year handset replacement cycle, those who are not Smartphone users soon will be.

There are also a number of (cheap) tablets flooding the market, especially with the festive season around the corner.  These smart devices will have a significant impact on the way consumers lead their lives, the way they watch entertainment, shop, communicate and even the way people work.

Businesses in every industry need to have already employed a mobile/tablet strategy to adapt to this new consumer behaviour, or it should at least be high on their agenda for 2013. 


4G will increase device usage

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Not everyone in the world has access to 4G, however 60% of operators globally will be launching 4G services by end of 2013.  This will result in an increase in download and upload speeds and faster response times, in particular for data-intensive services such as video.

This improvement in mobile broadband will encourage people to use their device more, especially when they’re out of the home and out of reach of WiFi .  Users will be able to watch videos seamlessly and have a better shopping experience which will encourage them to complete their transaction on their mobile device. 

4G can also have a positive impact on a country’s GDP, research by the network Everything Everywhere, found that the introduction of 4G could provide Britain with a 0.5% GDP per year once fully adopted. It will also provide access to mobile superfast broadband to at least 10 million people who won’t be able to get fixed line superfast broadband by end of the decade.


Increase in M-Commerce activities

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Mobile commerce will enter a new era of growth in 2013, spurred by increased consumer usage of mobile devices for searching, shopping, promotions, buying on the actual device and in the physical retail store.

There is an interesting link between M-Commerce and actual in-store purchases, a recent study we conducted for the IAB in the US, found that 76% of M-Commerce users have used their mobile in-store, mainly to check prices but also to send pictures of product to others.

Offering free WiFi is one way retailers can accommodate consumer demands, our own research into mobile behaviour in the retail environment found that 38% have already used a stores free WiFi and 78% would use the service if offered.

By offering this service it not only improves consumer opinions of the store (42%) it also improves customers overall store experience (36%) and gives them confidence they are getting the best deal (25%).  Full report here

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