The question used to be: do you have a mobile phone? Now we’re asking; what’s your smartphone? Apple?, Android? or Blackberry? Last year something happened that has never happened before; according to Henry Blodget, the number of smartphones sold exceeded the number of personal computers (PCs) sold.
With a rapidly growing smartphone and tablet market, the operating system developers and manufacturers face a strong battle to become the dominant player within this competitive space. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Android and Apple are the current market leaders and arguably other manufacturers and operating systems are falling at the wayside. Surely, for them, it is now too late, or perhaps not! The Business Insider slide deck by Henry Blodget reveals that over half the mobile audience in the U.S does not use a smartphone; so if IDC’s predicted 49.5% increase of smartphone purchases occurs by 2015, there is certainly room for Microsoft, Blackberry or any other manufacturer to establish themselves as market leaders. Although time is of the essence and they must move fast.
Is your business mobile?
The Financial Times cites a JPMorgan prediction that 657 million smartphones will leave stores in 2012 and IDC predicts smartphone sales will rise to 982 million in 2015. It has been a prediction on the tip of many industry experts’ tongues for a while; organisations will NEED to be mobile savvy. Fast, relevant and easily navigated information is what is wanted by every organisation and every user.
From a business perspective, this can also only mean two things. Your web presence needs to shift from the desktop to the mobile device and you must discover how you engage and transact via the mobile medium.
What is the way forward?
At Volume we have developed a number of mobile apps, mobile sites and mobile-optimised sites:
Our own web site www.volume.co.uk is mobile-optimised. The site is developed using the latest technology (MVC HTML/CSS2/CSS3 and jQuery) to ensure the user experience is of the highest quality if viewed on a smartphone or tablet device. 10% of the people who have visited the Volume website in 2012 have come from mobile devices.
If a user visits your website through their smartphone or tablet device to only discover the website to be incompatible this could mean a number of lost opportunities; a sale, a lead, a potential business partner?
Then there are Mobile apps. Mobile application software is designed specially to offer the user a seamless experience, for a specific product, service or game. Volume designed and developed a mobile app for Zebra Technologies, ZipShip. This was intended to allow Zebra printer users to search for available printer consumables and media for various Zebra machines, cancelling out phone calls, emails and the waiting game; making the process mobile and instantaneous. The beauty of ZipShip is the convenience, ease of use and captivating trance it has on a consumer; there are no distractions, just you and the product you need to be delivered when and where you want. There is obviously one implication to consider when creating a mobile application; an app is only available on the specific operating system in which it was designed for – to make it available on all operating systems could prove costly. Therefore research into your target market is essential to ensure your mobile application is relevant and used.
‘Mobile optimisation versus mobile apps’ is another blog. For now, I will leave you with this: Dan Frommer from the Business Insider quoted Matt Galligan saying;
…the future of mobile is the future of everything.
So watch this space and think carefully about how your business can be active by preparing for the mobile take-over, instead of letting it become something you employ once traffic to your website and online sales begin to decrease.