In 2013, we saw major advancements in the mobile industry. The most recent hot topic of the mobile world is wearable technology, offering all new data and statistics to the users. Cloud-based data storage was another big trend, expanding the limits of what mobile can offer. Another trend came with marketing taking on a new role in mobile. Businesses began to utilize location tracking for advertisement, discovering that mobile may be the best medium to custom cater ads to consumers. Finally, revenue from app development increased yet again last year. Distimo reported that the US market share for mobile apps increased 81% in 2013, with other countries experiencing even more growth. As businesses prepare to further expand mobile development, consumers are expecting rapid innovation.
In an industry that quickly transforms and evolves, will these trends continue in 2014? And what new trends will we see? To answer our questions, we asked 20 specialists to give us their mobile predictions for the new year.
Q:What do you predict for mobile in 2014?
“Mobility in 2014 will not be a fad, mobility will be the norm. Mobile will be “the” mechanism for everything we do, from shop to work! While the acceptance of mobility will grow, as will the awareness and the risk of sensitive information being compromised. Whether we see or hear about many mobility-based compromises in 2014, we will see enterprises start to secure information on these devices.”
"Consumers will become more comfortable with mobile payments. The launch of apps with integrated mobile payment technologies, in high traffic - high frequency venues, like coffee shops, will help accelerate adoption."
"Recent studies show that 32% of small businesses are planning to increase mobile marketing spending in 2014. Much of this increase will come from savvy small businesses taking advantage of geo-fencing in mobile advertising buys. With geo-fencing, small businesses can precisely target their immediate trading area. Perhaps, that's a 3 mile radius from their store. We did a mobile ad buy for a frozen yogurt chain that geo-fenced college campuses. We did one for a trucking company driver recruitment campaign that geo-fenced truck stops in three states. With geo-fencing, a mobile ad will only show on mobile websites and apps when the consumer is in that precise latitude and longitude area. The beauty of geo-fencing in mobile ad buys is no waste."
"Our prediction is that Samsung's huge sales will continue to be reflected in the trade-in market, dethroning Apple who have been top traded in devices for the last 4 years. Samsung trade-ins were up 50% in 2013, making Android the most popular platform in the trade-in market. Another prediction is that BlackBerry will become the fastest depreciating brand for device trade-in values. In 2013, their flagship device BlackBerry Z10 lost over 68.25% of it's value."
"I predict that in 2014, Pay Per Call will become an even more prominent advertising model with a LOT of attention paid to call tracking and attributing sales / store visits to phone calls that originated from a mobile ad click. A study from ResponseTap found that 65% of businesses considered phone calls their highest quality lead source, and this number is likely to grow with the advent of mobile usage and call tracking technology."
"Look for more people to upload stock photography directly from their mobile devices to their portfolios in 2014. It's easier than ever to get those great pictures up and able to be downloaded. Mobile isn't just the future; mobile is now."
"The proliferation of cloud-based data storage providers will have a profound impact on the mobile market for both businesses and consumers.
Businesses are increasingly becoming paperless, and in industries where employees find themselves out of the office, real-time data access and reporting through mobile devices will expedite business processes.
In the consumer market, the move towards the much touted "Internet of Everything" will be spearheaded by mobile devices. Home automation, including home security and control of utilities, is the initial step to bringing the IoE to the public. The process of how cloud computing handles the interactions between smart devices and your go-to mobile device will become a key industry goal in 2014."
"Mobile surveys will be increasingly used to generate real-time feedback and photos of "customers/products in action" for more in-depth insight into the customer experience."
"2014 will be the year mobile designers and developers focus on usability over style. 2013 saw many platform manufacturers, developers, and OS operators make huge stylistic changes, the most notable of which was the release of iOS 7. These changes were often met with resistance, especially among the 60+ age group.
As this older audience becomes a majority user group by sheer numbers of mobile technology, the entire mobile industry will need to make design considerations that focus on usability instead of style. We will see less iconography and more text labels, clearer buttons, better contrast and improved instructions and support."
"Responsive design will drive mobile traffic percentages over 50% for many companies. My company, Mojo Motors, has harnessed responsive design to create a fantastic user experience across all platforms. We rely heavily on email alerts to drive traffic, and we find that the majority of our customers are checking email alerts from mobile and navigating directly to the site to continue through the buying process. Our mobile traffic has gone from 20% of our total site traffic to over 50% in the past year as a result."
"2nd screen advertising will continue to take hold and begin to move out of "innovation" budgets and appear more regularly on media plans. With a proliferation of ACR tech providers and single-publisher ad offerings - there is no key to scale for synched advertisements. I predict the RTB space - with huge volumes of exchange layer data and third party semantic and contextual data providers - will help begin to drive scalability for synched 2nd screen advertising"
"B2B Marketers will start thinking mobile. Maybe. - I've said it before and I'll say it again. Marketers need to think about mobile as not a tactic but in conjunction with how their prospects consume the marketing content -whether it is a website, an email, a white paper or ebook, or call-to-action. Have you looked at your company's website or read your marketing messages from your smartphone? Do you have a benchmark on how many prospects are visiting your website from a mobile device? The time for experimentation is almost past. A firm step into the mobile world is necessary for a digital marketer to stay on track."
"We will see a large increase in the use of responsive web design for companies big and small to help with mobile marketing and SEO. As the digital divide evolves and segments over different devices, there is an increased necessity for adaptable websites that are cleanly viewed on each device. Rather than developing a website for each device, a responsive site is designed to adapt to the browser size and make for a great experience for your user. It displays the information that is desired so that it is readily available, reducing bounce rates. It is a great use from not only a User Interface perspective, but also for SEO, because it will help your site perform better with increased visits, better SERP rankings, more return visits, and more shares."
"With a more general release of Google Glass expected in 2014, the spotlight will be on consumer uptake and associated unit sales volumes. However, to make Glass a success, it might take the enterprise sector to drive innovation into practical applications and use cases of the new form-factor.
Expect to see:
- Retail Shopping experiences, gift registry, along with retail employee facing applications
- Conference and event location awareness
- Real-estate and Tour applications
- Logistics and Asset Management applications"
"It's impossible to talk about mobile commerce without talking about how it works with more established sales channels. Google/Nielsen report that 93% of people who use mobile to research a product eventually complete a purchase. In 2014, mobile will become the most important way retailers (even small-to-midsize retailers) turn those researchers immediately into customers. Mobile devices will drive more shoppers into stores with more geographically targeted offers, optimized Web sites for smartphones and tablets will be the initial touchpoints that more effectively showcase products and paying will become easier than ever with one-touch mobile purchases becoming the norm."
"We’ll see even bigger movements in e-commerce and m-commerce. With the economy coming back strong in the US and Asia, more people are shopping online and on their smartphones. Also, many emerging economies have skipped using laptops and went right to portable mobile devices for their online needs. Three or four years into the cycle, we are still in the infant stage of e-commerce. It’s more important than ever for online businesses to test their websites and apps in order to protect their revenue and ensure readiness for the increase in traffic that’s to come as digital commerce continues to increase at a staggering pace."
"Personal assistants will become a major battleground for mobile device user interfaces in 2014, with Apple and Google leading a fight to make their entry the leader in natural interaction by speech or text with mobile devices. A personal assistant interface is largely independent of device format and has the potential to exist across devices, from smartphones, to wearables, to automobiles."
"My prediction for 2014 is: more of the same. Incremental technical updates from all providers, and all of the Apple rumors will again be true. One area I believe will expand: the use of iBeacon and BLE to implement location-based services in places GPS can’t go."
"In 2014, mobile is going to continue to experience dramatic evolution. There's going to be a renewed interest in the high quality smaller form factor in the Android market, and an increase in focus on larger screens in the iOS world. I expect there to be a renaissance in multitasking, with the ability to run multiple applications side by side coming to iOS and or Android this year. Finally, we're going to see the web as a mobile platform continue to pick up speed, as well as the internet of things. Everything from smart houses to smart cars to devices we wear on our body are going to use our phones as a hub for communication and innovation."
"Sensors, wearable or not, will feature more prominently in a number of apps as means of bringing the local outside world into our devices. Fitbit and Nike Fuelband are the tip of this iceberg which extends beyond health and exercise and into all aspects of our lives. In other words, the Internet of things will find its way into our apps, increasingly making our smartphones connected to reality and able to impact us more than ever. Business services will spring up to capitalize on these enabling technologies, and the massive amount of data they can collect. The key will be organizing the data into logical clusters, packaged in beautiful apps, that deliver real value for your users."
The tag cloud at the top combines all of our experts' terminology used in their predictions. What do you see for mobile in the year ahead? Comment below if you agree or disagree with any of our experts' predictions, or make one of your own.