For years the saying ‘Touch Me I’m Buzzing’ has been a example of modern day expressions of excitement aligning itself with the exhilarating world of technology. And the term buzzing, in particular, would normally make most of us think about receiving a call on our favourite accessory – our indispensable mobile phones. Well, many years on from the emergence of this saying and our associations with not only technology, but in particular our mobiles, is reaching new levels.
With ownership of mobile phones on the increase, at a growth rate (predicted by Cisco) at 66% year on year, it’s becoming more evident than ever just how important our little buzzers are becoming to us. Over half of the world’s population now owns a mobile phone and (according to a study done by VentureBeat) by the end of December 2015, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use – that’s a whopping 1 smartphone for every 5 people in the world! This figure significantly surpasses that of desktop ownership and market research companies seem to all be pointing towards 1 thing – 2015 is the year that global mobile internet consumption overtakes desktop. This represents a huge shift in the consumer internet world as we know it so far.
So, apart from this being great news to all mobile phone providers, what does it this mean for the rest of our businesses? As most businesses have just got into the swing of online desktop portals like E-Commerce, does that mean we have to start all over again and redirect all our efforts now to platforms like M-Commerce*? Well I wouldn’t throw the towel in on desktop just yet… but when looking to the future we should all be taking mobile very seriously.
Let’s look at Flipkart, India’s largest E-commerce website. They run a business model not dissimilar to Amazon, but recently announced that they plan to shutdown their website within a year in a strategic move to go mobile only. Although they do currently have an app that operates alongside their website, they have assessed the growth in their app usership vs website and concluded that business would be better off if they focused all their attention on maximising the quality of the 1 platform which will provide them with the most revenue. A bold and brave decision, but for a company of such magnitude I’m sure the decision wasn’t taken lightly.
Obviously, at this stage, Flipkart’s move to mobile only isn’t for everyone. After all, online consumption differs regionally – in somewhere like India, which may have substantially less people owning a desktop and various areas with limited wifi access, it would makes sense to focus on a mobile platform which provides advantages in accessibility. However, this is definitely something worth bearing in mind when planning your future business strategy. Initially it took many companies a long time to come round to the idea of implementing social media strategies as a serious part of their business plan. But now, to the shock of most of us a decade ago, the majority of companies have active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Perhaps this time round companies will be more willing to invest in future digital strategies early on instead of just playing catch up with the digital market.
So what steps should your business be taking to ensure it doesn’t fall behind?
Well a responsive, mobile friendly website is a good start (check out my last blog for more information on this).
But there is more to it… The move towards mobile is an exciting opportunity for any business. It can allow you to be more creative and adventurous than traditional online business, with more engaging ways to interact with your consumer. Things to consider range from responsive websites and building M-commerce platforms, to mobile advertising and customised mobile applications… and this is where it really starts to get interesting.
There are endless ways to engage with your consumer via a mobile app – whether it’s a game, a useful function or information source… even if its unrelated to the specific content of your business. Look at companies who have thought outside the box to build apps that don’t directly relate to their own product, but yet reach their target audience in a meaningful and engaging way. For example, drinks companies building apps that help festival goers when they’re on site or a girls sanitary brand developing an app to create a secret language for teenage girls on Facebook – that boys can’t understand! These are good examples of companies using mobile in creative ways to connect with potential consumers.
There is no need to feel overwhelmed though. As always, Orange are here to serve as your digital partner and are on hand to provide a free digital health check consultation for your business, offering advice on ways to keep your business on the right digital track.
With the development of technology more exhilarating than ever I can foresee a whole new list of technology related expressions on the horizon – and the next expression that I’m putting my money on also happens to be my advice to you: Think outside the (Smart) box!
Who knows where technology will take us in the future – but right now it’s full steam ahead with mobile. So embrace the future and next time someone says ‘Touch me… I’m buzzing!’ – tell them that they’re certainly not the only ones!
*M-Commerce = M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cellular telephone and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Known as next-generation e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access the Internet without needing to find a place to plug in.