There has been a fair amount of discussion on the web in the last few months about the influence of mobile browsing on e-commerce. The latest smartphones make browsing and shopping on the web easier than it has ever been. Even older smartphones are more than capable of providing a satisfactory user experience with mobile shopping. But smartphones aren’t the only indicators of the rise of mobile – tablets are too. As consumers shift in how they shop, browse, and interact with businesses online, agencies should be paying attention.
Tablets on the Rise
Ever since the iPad launched the tablet market, plenty of competitors have joined in. Consumers have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing a tablet computer, and purchasing is exactly what they are doing. According to Dawn C. Chmielewski today at the LA Times, “A quarter of all Americans age 16 and up own a … tablet computer … an increase from 10% in 2011.” That’s a 150% increase in tablet ownership in one year.
With sales increasing this much, Dawn quotes one analyst claiming that this is “the beginning of the end” for traditional e-readers.” Fewer e-readers mean more devices with browsing capabilities. It’s also a sign of less computer usage when browsing social media, the web, and researching purchases.
Of course, when looking at mobile computing (and I clump tablet PCs with that term) smartphones should not be ignored either. Back in October, RedOrbit reported on a Pew Study that found “as many as 45% of American adults own a smartphone.” This number has likely grown since October, but not extremely. If you have a smartphone or a tablet it’s very likely that you’ll be using them to – at minimum – browse the web.
Looking to the Future of Mobile
Looking at the numbers for tablets and smart phones, I think it’s fair to predict a strong year in mobile browsing and sales in 2013. This means it’s going to be in the interests of agencies to determine how their clients can best benefit from advertising, content, and social media interaction from a mobile standpoint. The mobile side of the internet is going to be an increasingly important area to help clients grow and improve business.
There is no doubt that sales and usage of mobile platforms will continue to grow as the technology becomes better, cheaper, and accessible to more people. Just yesterday Rebecca J. Rosen reported for The Atlantic that “more than half of American households (51.7 percent) don’t regularly use a landline phone.” While not everyone will adopt a smartphone, there is still plenty of room for smartphone usage to grow at the pace it has been growing.
Start Now, Not Later
Now is a great time to start getting involved in mobile. Businesses and agencies should ensure that clients have easily accessible mobile websites, mobile-friendly content, and active presence on certain mobile apps like FourSquare. Doing so can make a difference in how they are perceived by consumers, and they will also allow clients to reach a broader audience more frequently.
I think it’s almost inevitable that mobile expands even more and has a great year in 2013. Tablets and smartphones are getting cheaper and better, apps are becoming even more useful, and people have more choices to get data on their smartphones. 2013 just might be mobile’s year.
Do you think mobile is going to have a strong year in 2013? Do you or are you planning to provide mobile services to your clients?
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