With 2013 upon us, it probably doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that the big trends of 2012 – mobility and social technology – are poised for even greater growth in the year ahead as more consumers open up their wallets for smartphones, tablets and apps.
Mobility will drive spending in 2013
According to research by IDC, IT spending in 2013 will exceed $2.1 trillion worldwide, up 5.7 per cent from 2012, with the biggest driver of that growth being mobility. They’re predicting that sales of smart mobile devices will grow by 20 per cent over the next year, driving 57 per cent of all IT market growth.1
This massive explosion in mobility will be responsible for more people using mobile devices than desktop to get online for the first time ever in 2013.2
Mobile commerce in the years ahead
Driven by the ever-increasing adoption of smartphones worldwide, mobile commerce is expected to see positive growth in the years ahead. Experts predict that mobile commerce will grow to:
• $10 billion in 2012.
• $14 billion in 2013.
• $25 billion in 2015.
Coined the new “shopping companion” by Google, 79 per cent of users have used their smartphone while shopping.3 Additionally, 35 per cent of smartphone users have made a purchase with their device, and this number is expected to increase to 39 per cent in 2013 and 43 per cent by 2015.4
Get your mobile site ready this New Year
So if you haven’t already, creating a mobile-enabled website should be one of the top items on your New Year’s resolutions list for your business in 2013.
While you may think your regular website is good enough for mobile searchers, it probably isn’t. Mobile-enabled sites are designed to load faster, render text and images correctly and detect the environment of the user for a better browsing experience.
With the majority of users abandoning a site if they have a bad mobile experience, not having a mobile site is no longer an option for many businesses, especially local businesses that are frequently searched via mobile.
Expect to see more apps in 2013 and beyond
Driven mostly by the rise of Android and the number of iOS users, 2013 could be very accurately described as the year of the app. With a total of 675,000 Android apps available and 25 billion downloads through Google Play to date, app usage is predicted to explode in the years ahead. ABI research predicts that annual Android app downloads will increase to 58 billion by 2016, along with 27 billion downloads for Apple’s iPhone.5
While not every business needs their own app, apps can greatly streamline and simplify the buying process for consumers, making them ideal for certain types of small businesses such as restaurants and retailers.
Rise of the tablet
Not to be outdone by the smartphone, tablets are becoming increasingly popular as consumers recognise the benefits of their small size and mobility. The tablet market is expected to grow by at least 42 per cent to more than 170 million units in 2013, with mini tablets with screens smaller than eight inches accounting for as much as 60 per cent of unit shipments.1
What all this amounts to is that consumers are more mobile than ever, and businesses need to think about how to leverage mobile strategies as part of their overall marketing mix in the year ahead. These strategies can include mobile-enabled websites, apps, mobile marketing campaigns, QR codes and creative integration of mobile with their existing social media strategies.
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.