As the year progresses there are a number of important business trends in the mobile market that companies should take on board if they want to maximize their performance in this sector. Here are just a few of the most significant trends that are worth outlining in order to help you secure greater success with your mobile strategy.
Mobile TransactionsPayment is no longer limited to cash or cards because mobiles are now used more than ever in order to facilitate financial transactions. The proliferation of NFC (near field communication) technology is allowing consumers to spend money without the need for a wallet, using multiple accounts linked to a chip in their smartphone.
Meanwhile, using integrated applications or a mobile browser makes it possible for users to shop online without having to fire up a laptop or PC. The emerging 'm-commerce' ( a spin off from e-commerce) industry is changing the way that retailers look at sales and it is also helping to support the high street because this multichannel approach benefits those who are on the move the most.
Portable terminals set up in-store could replace fixed-position checkouts in the near future, allowing consumers to make payments from their mobile phones and leave at their leisure, which ought to ease queues while serving to streamline a business.
Advanced Mobile FeaturesFor businesses, mobile phones have become important for receiving and sending e-mails, browsing the web and running simple applications in recent years.
However, analysts at Info-Tech Research Group Inc. believe that 2012 will be the year in which small and medium sized businesses begin to realize the full potential of contemporary portable hardware.
Customer relationship management (CRM) and apps generated specifically for the industry within which a given company operates will be just two of the features that businesses will begin to exploit to their advantage.
Meanwhile, the power of the cloud will make it possible for mobiles to do much more than their basic hardware limitations might usually allow. Scalability and flexibility will be the watchwords of the business mobile market in 2012.
Part of the reason that mobile apps are becoming so prevalent in the business world is that employees often prefer to use them when compared with desktop equivalents.
The reason behind this is one of practicality; apps must be usable on smaller displays, the majority of which utilise touch-screen controls, so they have to be designed carefully and clearly. This results in a better user experience that still has all of the power of traditional alternatives.
Platform WarsWhile the consumer market is dominated by Apple's iPhone when it comes to brand awareness and saturation, some believe that the business market is not as entirely infatuated with this range of handsets.
Google's Android operating system is becoming increasingly popular among professionals, not least because it offers a large number of apps that is almost equivalent in terms of quantity and quality to Apple's offering.
Part of Android's appeal is that Google operates a far more open-source approach to its software than Apple. Anyone can build an app and have it accepted with relative ease for availability on an Android handset. Meanwhile, Apple's fairly stringent rules about blocking certain apps from being published can put off businesses that want the freedom to use a mobile platform as they see fit.
There are plenty of other ways in which the business mobile market will develop this year, with trends shifting almost autonomously as companies decide the fate of certain platforms and manufacturers. Regardless of your position, it seems that mobile business trends will continue to rise to prominence over the coming months and years.
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