2015 is The Year of Mobile and 5 other predictions


crystal-ball

Around this time of year, you’re going to be inundated with “resolution” and “prediction” posts, with folks proselytizing on their views of tech trends for the upcoming year.

Your boy is no better.

But unlike these other jokers at Mashable, Techcrunch, Gawker, et al., who spend time researching, interviewing experts and reviewing industry reports, I simply comb through their work, cherry-picking the tastiest tidbits and regurgitating their work as my original thought.

I kid, I kid.

But seriously.

The end of the year provides a great opportunity to review the wins, hits or misses or the previous year and reliably forecast what may happen in the year ahead.

There have been a number of interesting developments over the past year, which give me confidence to say that 2015 will be the year of mobile.

For example, there are more mobile devices than people on the earth.

Let that sink in for a moment.

That’s significant, especially if all of these people are browsing from their mobile devices.

Even if only half of them utilize their mobile devices as the primary means for getting online, brands that aren’t mobile-enabled are going to see their bounce rates increase and revenues decline, as folks abandon them for sites that are mobile optimized.

But rather than talk about how mobile will impact brands generally, here are my top five mobile predictions for 2015.

1. Mobile payments are going to take off. With Apple Pay already being adopted by 220,000 vendors, the mobile payment trend is undoubtedly going to grow. Apply Pay joins other established mobile payment solutions, like Google Wallet and PayPal, and newcomers, like LevelUp and Paydiant, as well as a host of others scoping the mobile payment space, including Square and Swipely. With folks taking privacy and security seriously, e-commerce sites and mobile applications that allow users to avoid the necessity of having to manually input payment details over insecure wifi networks, will undoubtedly be the preferred method for completing online transactions.

This year, I predict mobile payments becoming a standard.

2.  Mobile sites will proliferate this year. As brands start to realize that customers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, getting in on this action will be a critical strategy to engagement. Last year, the average person spent almost 3 hours a day on their mobile devices. That’s more time than they spend online, and this trend will likely continue. With streaming services offering television-like abilities, mobile may eventually outpace tv. But at a very basic level, this year brands will acknowledge that the failure to have a mobile site (either mobile enabled or fully responsive) is a distinct competitive disadvantage.

I predict the number of mobile sites will invariably grow at a tremendous pace this year.

3. Widespread adoption of auto-fill. Retailers bemoan cart abandonment as the bane of their existence. Over 68% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned. The holy grail for online shopping involves seeing shoppers through checkout. But for mobile shoppers, there is nothing more frustrating than having to complete payment and shipping forms on their mobile device. Payment options like PayPal or Amazon One-Click save users from filling out many of the fields required to complete their online purchases, but too few online vendors are set up with streamlined payment processes. And while a fine tuned checkout doesn’t necessarily equate to fewer abandoned carts, it couldn’t hurt!

Auto fill is a simple and easily implemented solution, that can occur at the browser or native (device) level, which will enable users to quickly and securely complete online forms, typically with one click, dramatically reducing the amount of time (and frustration) required to complete payment or shipping information (or forms of any kind). Google Chrome has already implemented the ability to auto fill forms in both full HTML and mobile web browsers, and many of the mobile payment solutions described above, also include the ability to complete non-payment forms as well.

I predict widespread adoption of mobile autofill solutions, as more players enter the space and users become more conversant with these types of platforms.

4. Mobile loyalty programs will grow. Nearly every retailer I frequent has some sort of rewards program. Stores like Anthropologie, Sephora, CVS, Modell’s, Target, and ShopRite all have rewards programs tied to a keychain or wallet-sized reward card that patrons can present at checkout to earn points or qualify for rewards. But 2015 will see an increasing number taking advantage of Passbook or eliminating cards in favor of mobile loyalty or punch cards. Instead of having to present a loyalty card, users will simply whip out their cell phones flash a QR code and transmit their rewards or loyalty account info, similar to how Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts’ mobile rewards work.

I predict that 2015 will see more brands taking advantage of the convenience of mobile loyalty and release Passbook-like offerings of their own.

5. Wearables will change the mobile landscape. In the not-too-distant past, when you thought “wearables” a massive virtual reality helmet was probably all that came to mind. But with Oculus Rift making wearable headsets more like goggles, and less like NFL helmets, the concepts is more palatable. The definition of wearables has extended from virtual reality headsets, to Google Glass to fitness devices like the Nike FuelBand, the Fitbit tracker, the Apple Watch and Android smart watches. Wearables will open a whole host of smart applications, devoted to health and fitness, as well as medical diagnostics.

I predict that wearables will have a breakout year in 2015, driven primarily by the Apple Watch, but supported by advances in Android wearables, the proliferation of 3D and augmented reality applications adding rich virtual layers to users’ real life experiences.

What are your mobile predictions for 2015? Feel free to comment and share!

Happy New Year!

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4 Comments

Filed under advocacy, mobile

4 responses to “2015 is The Year of Mobile and 5 other predictions

  1. Pingback: Boletín semanal Momo Pocket: los seres humanos y la tecnología, una relación para la reflexión | Momopocket

  2. Levi Roberts

    Very good culmination of what’s to come. I agree with this post and then some.

    From a developers perspective I would also like to add that the above list has become the “norm” of what to expect in any web project. More developer tools and frameworks are also being released every day that ease this rapid transition into mobile driven market places.

    If a business decides not to implement one or more of the above, the result will probably be drastic decrease in sales. People will simply use alternatives that are mobile friendly, and trust me their out there!

    There’s a new phrase in our workplace going around: “The web front is the best front.”

    As a side note, what this also means is that users will depend more on a great user experience so make your UI simple and easy to navigate. Nobody likes an over-complicated product. This is the year that more attention and effort should be spent on UI emphasis.

    Great post!

    Like

    • Levi, good insight. I’d love to get a “best practices” in mobile development from you as a guest post. You’re on the front lines and i think your perspectives are usually spot on

      Like

      • Levi Roberts

        That sounds like a terrific opportunity. I’ll see what my schedule looks like and get back to you.

        I do know that this is a pretty busy time in my line of work due to some of the newer technologies and frameworks being released.

        For example, some of the new languages like WWDC’s Swift is maturing into the new year. Also keep an eye on ECMAScript 6 which is going into official publication in March. Lot’s of developers in the NodeJS (javascript on a server) AND web community are preparing stuff and gearing toward that.

        Tip: ECMA6 AKA Harmony is a game changer for dynamic development. Basically every web site out there using MANY of the dozens of frameworks will see significant improvements in speed, stability, and feature set. If you’ve heard of some of the terms thrown around like backbone, angular, knockout, jQuery – ALL of these will see improvements due to Harmony.

        New developers will also have a much much lower entry point than ever before in history.

        Additionally, our company is planning on releasing something big this year. As my favorite blog, I’ll give you first chance for spotlight. I think it’s right up your alley!

        Cheers, Levi.

        Like

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