Top Mobile Trends of 2013
Look around you right now. How many people can you find staring into their hands? Some laugh intermittently. Some stare intently. You may even be reading this on a handheld device right now. Let’s face it: the mobile webvolution is upon us. Today, the use of mobile web is having a profound effect on business and consumer communications.
Back in 2008, mobile devices accounted for less than 1 percent of global Internet traffic. This year, the average American spends around 2.5 hours each day on mobile devices, accounting for nearly 20 percent of total web access around the world. Fueled by mobile trends, smartphones are outselling “dumb phones,” tablets are outselling smartphones, and both smartphones and tablets are outselling computers. One would be hard pressed to find a professional who did not have a smartphone, tablet, or even both.
Does your company understand the importance of a strategic professional mobile presence? Are you prepared to cater to what TIME Magazine has dubbed the, “Me Me Me Generation?” Here are the top mobile trends of 2013, and why they matter to your business:
Though traditional word of mouth still plays a role in standard business practice, microblogging has quickly become the easiest and most effective way to promote your brand.
Microblogging has taken the mobile world by storm. Twitter is dominating the web with a user base that makes up over 21 percent of the global Internet population. Our world is adapting to this culture at an astounding rate: in the second half of 2012 alone, Twitter experienced a 40 percent growth in active monthly users.
The fundamental piece of microblogging is you: the user. With the influx of easy-to-use technology, anyone—from Baby Boomers to Millennials—can become a mobile blogger. Personalizing your business enables you to increase customer loyalty, grow your customer base, track marketing effectiveness and keep interested parties up to date with real-time information. 97 percent of the top companies in the US and UK tweet an average of 30 times a month. User engagement with a brand is 78 percent more likely when the business tweets at all, and B2B companies that tweet regularly receive 47 percent more online traffic than those who don’t.
Whether you are tweeting to welcome a new partner or researching hash tags to develop a strategic social media campaign, developing a strong microblogging presence provides your business the opportunity to connect with millions of people and businesses around the world.
With the average professional having over 40 applications on their smartphone, shopping apps have made the act of shopping easier than ever. While this might not be good news for your wallet, the simplified process of gaining access to goods and services with mere taps of the finger opens the door for businesses to capitalize on purchases made via mobile devices.
From 2011 to 2012, US mobile sales rose over 80 percent to $24 billion. According to mobile responsiveness pioneer Brad Frost, simplifying and streamlining your messaging is the key to reaching this emerging audience. Mr. Frost remarked, “Mobile users will do anything and everything desktop users will do, provided it’s presented in a usable way.”
Recent studies have shown that 81 percent of smartphone purchases are spontaneous and nearly 60 percent of consumers will bail on a process if a mobile site does not load within three seconds or less. People expect mobile websites to load as fast, if not faster than on a computer.
This mobile boom is not just affecting shopping and blogging. From mix-tapes to CDs to MP3s, the way we share and listen to music has always been constantly evolving.
From 10 million users in January of 2012 to over 180 million in 2013, the domineering international sound company, Soundcloud, now reaches more than 8 percent of all web users. Alex Ljung, co-founder of Soundcloud, has referred to his online music phenomenon as the “YouTube of audio.” These music lovers are uploading over 10 hours of sound per minute from all over this world, and even from outer space!
While Soundcloud makes it easier upload music to the web, the nearly 10-year-old Pandora has doubled in size since 2011, surpassing 200 million registered users this April. While only 15 percent of listeners sported Pandora on mobile devices in 2009, over 70 percent of subscribers rely on the mobile app in 2013.
According to a Juniper study released in April, mobile-streamed music revenue will rise more than 40% by the end of this year. With the surge of streaming apps such as Spotify, and the combination of music and social media, this trend is music to the ears of billions around the globe.
Music is not the only source of entertainment that users are incorporating into their mobile devices. Over 30 percent of the time the average American spends on mobile devices is dedicated to gaming. This is the #1 use of smartphones and tablets.
Video games are being played by more than two-thirds of all web users. Of those users, 53 percent played weekly on a smartphone or tablet, considerably higher than the 42 percent playing on consoles and 29 percent playing on social networks.
In June, the International Data Corporation and App Annie collaborated to produce a report on the Future of Mobile Gaming. Released at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the report found that mobile gaming is expected to grow 55 percent in the next 18 months while software, upgrades, and in game advertising is poised to bring in $12 billion in revenue by the end of this fiscal year.
Mobile advertising is on the cutting edge of this ‘webvolution,’ and has the potential to be the most profitable avenue for any business. Here’s why:
According to a study done by the US Interactive Advertising Bureau, global mobile advertising revenue recently increased by 82.8 percent: from $4.84 billion in 2011 to $8.85 billion in 2012. So far, 2013 has proven that this massive upswing is no fluke.
Take, for example, Facebook. The top social media service initially offered their stock to the public at $38 per share. In September of 2012 the stock was at $17.73. At that seemingly disastrous point, Facebook moved forward with their mobile advertising strategy.
Instead of putting in advertisements for users to click through, Facebook snuck ads into the news-feed, where people could scroll right over them. Not everybody just scrolled on by. Mobile ads accounted for 41 percent of Facebook’s total revenue in the second quarter of 2013 and this caused the stock to skyrocket to over $37 in July. By integrating adverts into playlists, the 140 million mobile Pandora users netted the music streaming company over $220 million in advertising revenue in 2012, and are expected to bring net advertising revenue of nearly $500 million by 2014.
So what does all of this growth in mobile blogging, shopping, music, gaming and advertising have to do with your business? Everything.
As services like Facebook, Twitter, Pandora and others increase their mobile advertising, and the growth of mobile gaming and the app world, mobile ad spaces are gaining value and reaching millions, if not billions of people every day. Integrating Google Analytics and Facebook Graph Search will help your business strictly define your audience and enable you to enhance your online presence.
These trends have changed the way businesses need to look at mobile. As nearly 1.5 billion people are accessing the web from mobile devices, and people are spending an increasing amount of time on their smartphones and tablets, the opportunity for revenue growth is practically limitless. Within the next few years, mobile devices will be the most used platform for just about everything: from shopping and blogging to music and gaming – to blogging about the hot new game that you just bought on your smartphone while watching Robin Thicke’s summer hit, Blurred Lines, on your tablet.
Right now, more than 90% of the professional population of the United States has a mobile device within arms reach.
How will your business reach them?
To discuss ways to maximize mobile impact for your business or brand, please give us a call at 703-385-8078.