In a world where 69% of online shoppers use a mobile device to research products before purchasing, it’s safe to say that smartphones are central to any great marketing strategy. And the app market continued to grow in 2020, up by $120 billion from the previous year.
Mobile services provide convenience for consumers and great revenue potential for businesses. Keeping up with the latest happenings is a must when it comes to ensuring your service offers flexibility and choice, like tracking predictive dialer pricing to find the right time to invest. It can also maximize your chance of a sale, and promote greater customer retention.
Here are ten mobile tech trends from 2020 that your business can’t afford to ignore this year and beyond.
1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Thanks to COVID-19, the BYOD trend became a necessity for many of us in 2020. But there are important considerations for businesses, too. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work cuts down on the cost of firms buying equipment, and enables new starters.
It’s much easier to learn how to share your screen or navigate a communication platform using hardware you’re familiar with. And the trend has enabled companies to shift to remote working patterns with less disruption.
The main problem with BYOD is compromised security, so expect to see this side of the market grow in 2021. It’s already estimated that 30% of IT organizations will include a Bring Your Own Enhancement (BYOE) security measure into their BYOD policy this year. The commercial need for the right mobile device management solution will continue to increase.
2. Instant Apps
Mobile marketing is already one of the best ways to grow your brand in the modern age. The benefits offered by instant apps could revolutionize the market as a whole. As there’s no download required, no storage is taken up on a user’s phone. Unless an individual is already dedicated to a brand, it’s less likely they’ll want to download a complete app. But for initial purchases, an instant app comes in useful, providing all of the convenience without the commitment.
Given their accessibility, there’s a good chance that instant apps will increase the number of app downloads in 2021, meaning your mobile DevOps strategy needs to be first-rate. And even just a single purchase gives a business the opportunity to retain a customer simply by providing a great service experience. It’s well worth building instant apps into your mobile marketing budget this year.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence has been a massive tech trend for many years now, and it will only continue to grow. It’s made our customer service offerings better by introducing chatbots, been on hand to manage our entertainment in the form of Siri, and heightened security through voice and face recognition. Businesses will need to incorporate the latest AI technology simply to attract and then retain customers with their service offering.
The battle between hackers and security is a never-ending one. All businesses are looking to increase their overall security measures, from switching to online fax services to using firewalls and antivirus software.
Security also goes hand-in-hand with making payments through mobile. It’s in a brand’s interest to deliver such a service, not only to offer choice but to potentially cut down on costs. Ensuring a high level of security for their mobile apps is a must for any brand wishing to compete.
One of the big mobile tech stories of 2020 concerned the wide scale roll-out of 5G-enabled devices. We need technology in business to make our lives easier and to boost productivity. Up to 100x faster than existing 4G technology, 5G will dramatically increase the speed of anything internet-related.
Imagine the difference this can make to download times, app reliability, SIP phone services, and face-to-face video calls. Beyond our existing uses, 5G will enable the creation of new technologies to become mobile.
The smartphone revolution took the humble mobile phone into a new world of opportunity. Syncing with other devices is another piece of tech that’s taken it a step further. Users can turn music systems on and off, watch their house’s CCTV system remotely, and even track their dog or cat through a synced mobile device.
In business, companies are syncing devices across departments so all have access to the information they need in a matter of seconds. Whether you’re using the best inventory management software or just require your remote employees to be able to share documents easily, mobile synchronization has become part of working life for many of us.
We’re not so far away now from having a single device in our hands that can operate every piece of electrical equipment in our homes or offices. It’s just a question of who will get there first.
7. Location Data
Personalization and local SEO are two major buzz phrases to have infiltrated digital marketing in recent years. Gathering location data through smartphones is a major facet of both strategies, and is an important tactic when learning how to sell online. Through geofencing technology, a user can be traced when they’re close to a particular store, or even within a store itself.
If they’ve downloaded a brand’s app, that brand may choose to use their location to let them know of an in-store promotion nearby. And many apps that are unconnected with a physical store will request location data in order to share it with their partners. Just as you can track and reward your staff’s progress with the best employee management software, using location data presents further chances to track and sell to customers.
8. The Cloud
Many of us have been using cloud-based tech to store our mobile photographs, video, and chats for a while. When it comes to business, a successful digital workplace needs to constantly evolve, and the cloud is a great enabler for brands to keep up.
Utilizing the cloud for app software will continue to grow in 2021, and not just for storage reasons. An app running on cloud computing technology lives on web browsers and so can operate on multiple platforms and devices with no problems. This is a great time and money-saver for developers and businesses alike.
There’s more to blockchain technology than crypto-currencies. The tech was increasingly adopted by app-designers in 2020 given the high level of security offered. There are also savings for business owners to make, as monetary transactions are made cheaper through blockchain. And by using the cloud, it enables app development across different devices.
This technology could be seen as a given in future times. Anything that reduces consumer risk, increases brand loyalty, and ups the savings made by businesses could see many more industries jump on the bandwagon in 2021.
10. Augmented Reality (AR)
As new technology becomes affordable, consumers demand more choices from their favored brands. Without them, they’ll simply look elsewhere.
The use of augmented reality (AR) in apps means customers can do the equivalent of visiting a store or testing out a product from the comfort of their own home. To give an example, IKEA’s AR-enabled app allows users to take a picture of their living space. From there, the app measures their room and recommends furniture to fit.
The continued growth of home shopping, combined with the continued potential for social distancing measures in 2021, means that bringing the in-store experience to people’s homes could be more important than ever.
Victorio Duran III – RingCentral US
Victorio is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement on web and digital operations with diverse experience as web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.