1. Mobile is the new standard.
The rate of increase of mobile traffic is not surprising. The numbers are staggering, because the enablement of smartphone technology has facilitated a paradigm shift. This hardware standard, where all new phones are expected to use a data connection, have a touch screen, and run apps, is fueling our internet standard. Non-smart phones aren’t being produced or marketed anymore. We’ve moved on.
Mobile traffic as a whole is on the brink of overtaking traditional internet traffic. Before we even consider mobile as the majority, even if that number was a quarter or a third of all traffic, anyone or any business would be silly to ignore that large of a demographic. More and more organizations are planning their technology and prioritizing mobile first, then building on that foundation. Facebook has done it, LinkedIn has done it. Why? Because traffic for these dominant websites is already primarily mobile.
Lastly, you’ve definitely noticed the proliferation of tablets and smartphones in everyday life and business. Waitresses will take your order with an iPad, vendors will swipe your credit card on Square, and then you can sign the bill with your finger. You can check-in to your flight from your phone, and scan your boarding pass without printing it. Why did we ever need custom point-of-sale machines? Why did we need ticket kiosks? Now, if you think you need to design and build custom hardware, chances are you can just build an app. Save the R&D budget because these devices already have GPS, Bluetooth, touch screens, accelerometers, gyroscopes, speakers, microphones, cameras; and they’re standard.
2. Mobile is profitable.
As the standard advances, mCommerce is the obvious next step in eCommerce. Most people already have their credit card registered on their phone. In fact, all Apple users do. Since we’ve gotten over the fear of electronic transactions ages ago, we’re very comfortable paying on mobile. It’s speeding up business, ask Starbucks for example. In fact, mCommerce is growing faster than eCommerce alone.
Free and paid apps, in-app purchases, SaaS subscriptions (software as a service), and mobile advertising are just a few of the ways the App Store is proving to be a gold mine. Again, it’s not surprising; these services provide value to businesses, they target larger audiences, and we love them.
3. Mobile is cool.
Technology is cool. The iPhone is sexy. Innovation is fun. More tech marketing promotes new smartphones, rather than traditional computers these days; because they’re cool. They’re new, they’re hot, and everyone wants to be on the cutting edge.
We’re getting creative too. We have new gestures to interact with our apps. Pinch to zoom is standard; swipe to unlock is standard. It’s cool because it feels natural. Our designers are brilliant also. We’ve come up with some beautiful interfaces, and with high-resolution (retina) screens, they look amazing.
Flat design is the new hot style. Even Apple has jumped on board. It took us time to get here, but don’t think of it as a trend. Because now that we know and understand these interfaces, they provide a simpler and more intuitive user experience. The saying is, “the best interface is no interface”. Then we can just focus on the content, not fight with the controls.
4. Mobile is engaging.
The web is great. The web is just the beginning. The thing about the web, is that you’re living in someone else’s program — the browser. It’s literally another interface between you and your users.
People spend more time in apps than they do in the browser. That’s because apps are more engaging, and provide a deeper level of user experience that goes over and above the possibilities of the web. With native apps, you can communicate with the user and their location, they can send pictures and videos, get directions, and place a call with the click of a button. It’s a richer experience. (Read our article on when to go native vs. web, it’s important)
In fact, the mobile analytics leader, Flurry, has declared “It’s an App World. The Web Just Lives in It.”
We agree, mobile is changing everything.