A study from AT&T shows how reliant small businesses have become on mobile technology. The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll mentions that 85 percent of small business employees now use a smartphone to help with their jobs.
Customers are becoming more mobile too. The International Data Corporation, a global marketing intelligence firm, says the number of smartphones shipped now outpaces the number of other cell phones around the world. Tablets are on the increase with customers too.
Consider these mobile trends that affect small business:
Trend #1: BYOD – Bring your own device
BYOD or bring your own device is a trend that allows employees to use their Smartphones and tablets for business 24/7. According to recent surveys, the numbers of Smartphones sold outpaced the number of PCs. Maybe it's because the newest generation of Smartphones enables users to do everything their laptop does. Companies are utilizing BYOD as a way to increase productivity. For a small business owner, allowing your sales staff to BYOD will encourage them to use that device for all kinds of work-related tasks throughout the day. That's going to be very good for your business.
Trend #2: Mobile Shopping
In the U.S., Cyber Monday sales are quickly building towards outpacing the traditional top selling Black Friday sales and those are only two days out of the year! The vast majority of mobile tech users have made purchases through their phones and pads. It's not just the ease of one-click buying that customers appreciate but also the ability to shop and compare items right in the store. When your mobile application can make that shopping experience easy to navigate then you're going to build a stronger customer base. This means your website should be adapted for mobile phone use. Perhaps you should develop a separate app for your online store. At the very least there should be a lot of testing to work out the potential bugs. You might have only one shot at grabbing a mobile shopper, make sure your website is ready.
Trend #3: LTE – Long Term Evolution
Long Term Evolution networks or LTE are becoming all the rage for many Canadian businesses. These networks are allowing for all types of innovations like HD video conferences, transfer of large data files and hot spot access anywhere in the country. LTE networks allow businesses to make instant uploads across a variety of social media platforms. This insures a greater change of market penetration than ever before.
In the future, smartphones will continue to improve the way you experience the everyday world. Projection technology, for instance, is rapidly getting better, with some phones able to project pictures and high-definition video to a wall the same size of a 50-inch television screen.
Mobile payments using your phone will now become a hot trend, with many businesses vying to create the better “mousetrap”. Technology will always be evolving. With better streaming technology, faster processors, smartphones are becoming more powerful and will become much more integrated into our lives.