As 2015 officially begins, marketers can expect significant changes in the direction of mobile use among consumers and enterprises. Between the development of experience-driven mobile apps to amplifying the capabilities of wearable technology, this year promises to transform how mobile is incorporated into work and leisure. Experts weigh in on top 8 mobile trends to look out for in 2015.
1. Wearable Technology Becomes Mainstream Last year was just the beginning of wearable technology going mainstream; thus far, wearable technology is being used to monitor brain activity, perform predictive behavior analysis and track rich, location-based data. From digital devices recording your workout progress to Samsung’s Gear smartwatches designed to accompany smartphones, wearables will continue to gain popularity in 2015. In the coming year, fans of wearable technology will begin to see its use evolve to include multi-factor authentication, according to Brett Belding of MobileIron.
2. Mobile Security Solutions Evolve Approximately 1 in 3 mobile users browse the internet primarily with their phones, and half of all mobile searches result in a purchase. In the enterprise, mobile devices are becoming a preferred method of computing as they maximize flexibility for busy professionals. The resulting need for mobile security solutions, such as malware detection and data privacy, will spur the creation of dynamic security features offered by both startups and enterprises.
3. User Behavior Tops the Priority List Deeper insights into user behavior within a mobile app continue to present a challenge, particularly at the enterprise level. Gartner reported that mobile apps will need to have a built-in analytics component designed to accurately capture behavior-related data from any mobile device, from smartphones to wearable technology. This in-depth look at what drives customer behavior may be the key to increasing in-app conversions.
4. Context–Aware Apps Dominate On-demand service is expected in almost any venue, from restaurants to online shopping. As 2015 progresses, context-aware apps will continue to emerge, offering consumers and enterprise clients an intuitive mobile experience that anticipates needs. More apps will provide context-based suggestions and solutions to consumers, such as where to have lunch or find the best deals within a 1-mile radius. Similarly, use of context-aware apps in the enterprise will fuel productivity and collaboration, according to Benjamin Robbins of Palador.
5. Monetization of Mobile Features The shift toward smartphone-friendly browsing and purchasing isn’t new but will receive a substantial push in 2015. Historically, mobile devices had the advantage when it came to portability and engagement regardless of desktop devices being more conducive to purchasing and visual appeal. Now, the market seems intent on making mobile the preferred device on which to sell products, communicate with customers, and encourage social sharing, believes VP of Constellation Research Holger Mueller.
6. More Emphasis on Performance As mobile app developers gain richer insights into user behavior, experts predict interfaces will become more intuitive, powerful and user-friendly. Holger Mueller of Constellation Research believes the use of voice recognition and location-based services will increase in popularity as both consumers and enterprises seek a hands-off approach to communication and navigation. The drive to enhance performance on the front end is motivated by marketers’ need to better connect with and retain users.
7. App-Based Features Expand Beyond Native Use Currently, most apps require a user to log in before accessing features, like product specials or an app’s features. Experts believe the coming year in mobile apps will realize the development of external notifications and alerts, allowing developers to reach users with app-related information outside of the native app. This extended reach is estimated to enhance engagement with mobile users and encourage repeat app sign-ins while providing customers with a constant stream of content.
8. The Enterprise Welcomes IoT Solutions and Mobile App Integration Though far from mainstream, the Internet of Things is having an effect on enterprise-level business solutions, and some believe 2015 will be a year of experimentation as developers attempt to blend the two. Samsung CEO BK Yoon is one of a handful of innovators who understand the true impact of IoT solutions at the enterprise level. In a recent interview, Yoon revealed nearly all of Samsung’s products will be IoT devices by 2017, with the company’s business solutions focusing on IoT almost exclusively. Following a similar vein of enterprise outlook, the behind-the-scenes factories where manufacturing takes place is receiving more attention from software-as-a-service companies, as well as custom software developers. These programs are made for mobile devices which can report on a variety of metrics, linked to the tools being used. For example, one of the most common tools used in factories are load cells – used for weighing – and can be linked to these mobile SaaS programs for on-the-go reporting.
Mobile’s Transformation and Implications for Marketers With 2015 shaping up to be a year of mobile transformation, marketers will need to focus on enhancing local search, using analytics to gain insight into customer behavior, and optimizing marketing campaigns for mobile devices, particularly wearable technology.
About the author: Jesse Aaron is a community manager and freelance writer. He runs a blog and forums about social media marketing on Mashbout.