Mobile growth soars despite enterprise ignorance

No longer a niche strategy

Mobile is set to becoming the world’s biggest digital channel with annual growth of 4000 per cent, 5.3 billion handsets worldwide and 1000 new handset activations every minute.

Yet despite such statistics, enterprise ICT decision makers still view mobile as a niche strategy, said Rod Farmer, director of research and strategy at Mobile Experience. Farmer was speaking yesterday at the Institute of Actuaries Enterprise Risk Management Seminar, held in the Sydney CBD.

The key to capturing a slice of this market - currently experiencing 33 per cent annual growth on the smartphone - is to stop viewing mobility as just a device, said Farmer.

“It’s about moving across a series of touchpoints with the customer, catering to the customer journey,” he said. “You need to understand how someone will interact with the enterprise when they are mobile, and the device itself comes last.”

Read more about mobility in the Mobile/wireless/convergence category.

Bolstering this advice is the fact that 75 per cent of consumers are engaged in multi-channel commerce. They may begin their transaction in one channel, and finish it in another channel.

“When you are catering to the mobile market, the key information needs to bubble up to the top,” said Farmer. “Designing for mobile is highly complex, but you need to remember that the average time a person who is mobile will spend on a page is around 30 seconds. The key information needs to be there straight away.”

Meanwhile, Farmer noted another challenge facing both the enterprise and consumers is identity management. Many people already have multiple identities across multiple sites, painting disparate pictures of who they are to the online world. “Identity management is going to be a significant challenge going forward,” he said.

He commented that although Android is set to become the dominant mobile platform, it is poorly represented in terms of mobile commerce because of its fragmentation, and a lack of a cohesive app-store strategy. In this instance, he said Apple is miles ahead of the game with in-app payments comprising a significant portion of the App Store’s revenues.

“People are willing to pay for content and experience on the iPhone,” he said, inferring consumers are less willing to spend on other platforms.

Joshua Gliddon is a journalist at Filtered Media.

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