2. For the 5th year in a row we are presenting our annual mobility trend
forecast. Previously we’ve ploughed through the analyst reports and
forecasts from industry leaders as a basis for the report and this year
we’ve upped the game. Throughout the year we’ve provided input to
and had discussions with Forrester, Gartner, Google, Facebook,
Microsoft and Apple as well as the top companies across retail,
finance, automotive, healthcare, construction and technology. We’ve
combined this with insights and experience from our own work
resulting in 10 predictions and what they mean for you.
“We are no longer in a mobile
first world, we are in a mobile
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1. Get ready for Mobile 3.0
The first generation of mobile apps were gimmicky branded apps
and games. The second generation was about mobilising existing
online services such as commerce, booking and media sites and
create new mobile only services such as Instagram and Uber. The
third generation of mobile services take a unique mobile approach
leveraging location, context, usage behaviour and data. Examples
include shopping apps that provide one user experience at home
where we are shopping for products online and another one in-store
where the customers are looking for the best offers and help to find
physical products. A great omni-channel experience requires a lot
more than a responsive web site.
“People do not put their
phone down then go find a
desktop to do something.
They use their phone”
Paul Cousineau, Amazon Sep 2014
4. What this means for you
Most apps were developed based on existing online offerings,
customer insights & segmentation, backend limitations and without
leveraging data. With new insights and updated enablers, now is
the time for the next generation. Most organizations need to restart
their app efforts with user centric design and data powered solutions
applying uniquely mobile first methodologies. With the average
lifespan of an app being three years, it might be time to refresh your
current apps anyway.
Forget about looking at what functionality customers use today
on the web and design the service based on the needs and
requirements of a mobile user interacting with your organization and
services. Leverage context including location, situation and time as
well as data-driven insights from previous behaviour, interests and
usage patterns to personalise the user experience and anticipate
what the user needs before they know it.
Most organizations need to restart their app efforts with user centric design and
data powered solutions applying uniquely mobile first methodologies.
5. 2. Smartphone as the control hub for the Internet of Things
This trend has already begun but with the launch of a myriad of
wearable, connected devices and Internet of Things the smartphone
is becoming a control hub. Smartwatches, home appliances, home
entertainment systems, sensors, smart vehicles, security and more
are being controlled through our smartphone and more is yet to
come. Palo Alto based Mind Helix even allows you to turn your old
smartphone into a highly-capable home automation/ monitoring
system. Another app, Dormi, turns your Android phone into a baby
“The growth in IoT will
far exceed that of other
December 2014, Gartner
6. What this means for you
The smartphone is personal, always with us, secure, has more than
enough computing power and has mature developer environments
that allow any organisation to leverage the devices. Think about
how you can leverage the smartphone as a hub and IoT for your
organization to create new revenue streams, improve customer
experience, become more efficient or to simply try out new things.
Consider the impact of disruption from Internet of Things in your
space. Climate control start-up Nest is disrupting the space of home
appliances that companies such as GE, Whirlpool and Electrolux
have controlled for 50+ years. Automatic with their car plug-in has
managed to develop smart car functionality in a few years that the
automotive industry has struggled with for the last 10 years.
Think about how you can leverage the smartphone
as a hub and IoT for your organization.
7. 3. Mobile devices generate the majority of
all web browsing and media consumption
In 2014, mobile browsing made up 35-40% of all web browsing in
terms of time spent. However, transactions from mobile devices
were still low, representing only 15-20% of all transactions. The main
reason for this is that although most retailers currently offer mobile
friendly sites and apps, they were not designed for mobile from the
start. In 2015, mobile devices incl tablets will surpass the desktop
for the first time driven by organic growth, phablets and more mobile
friendly websites and services.
2015 Mobile 500 - https://www.internetretailer.com/2014/09/04/exclusive-mobile-now-primary-way-consumers-shop-online
“Retail has hit the mobile
tipping point with over 50% of
traffic from mobile devices”
Comscore Sep 2014
8. What this means for you
For the first time, we are spending more and more time with our
mobile devices and less time in front of the desktop. This means that
most organisations which rely on online sales will have to revisit their
entire mobile presence to ensure that conversion rates are the same,
independent of channel.
A responsive website is not enough to offer a good omni-channel
experience. As per the mobile app 3.0 requirements, retailers need
to rethink the use case of mobile in shopping from a customer
perspective based on location, context and needs.
Analyse differences in conversion rates between different devices to
ensure you understand what the drop-off points are.
Interview customers about their behaviour.
Perform user testing where you ask a customer to make a purchase.
Take the results from the above tips and develop a plan to use
mobile to go beyond th current desktop experience.
Revisit your entire mobile presence to ensure that
conversion rates are the same, independent of channel.
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4. Phablets - Between smartphones & tablets
Global sales of phablets, smartphones with screens between 5.5 and
7 inches, will top sales of portable PCs in 2014 and surpass sales
of tablets in the next year, according to a new forecast from IDC. By
2018 phablets will narrow the gap with other smartphones with a
share of 24.4 percent compared to the smaller devices’ 51.2 percent
share, capturing second place in the category along the way.
We’ve already seen it with the Samsung Note, Nexus 5, iPhone 6
Plus and other devices and 2015 will be the breakthrough year for
Phablets. Smartphone screens are getting much bigger and users
require app developers to adopt their apps accordingly.
“Consumers are still trying to
figure out what mix of devices and
screen sizes will suit them best”
IDC Sep 2014
10. What this means for you
We need to rethink adaptive design based on screen size and
navigation as, for example, thumb-friendly can no longer be applied
as well as the bigger screens allowing for more information to be
You should consider how the phone will be held, particularly where
the user’s fingers will be able to reach. If you have important
functionality controls at the top, it may be useful to move them
further down the screen to make it easier to tap them.
The “reachability” option included in the iPhone 6 also helps us
reach top areas of the app when using one hand and our thumb
to navigate. However, this option is only a quick fix and not a fully
explored solution when designing for bigger screens.
We need to explore the possibility of making solutions that are
not only responsive, but also adapt to the new and bigger screen
sizes- a hugely exciting area. We should also remember that with
“phablets” we should choose the best of each former separate world
of smartphones and tablets.
Additionally, look to release updates on existing apps to allow for the
best experience for users regardless of which screen size they
Rethink adaptive design based on screen
size and navigation
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5. Big data becomes integral
to all mobile services
In the past year almost every organization has started big data
initiatives. In 2015, big data will stop being a separate initiative but
rather become an integral part of every online and mobile proposition
supporting all the trends in this analysis. To truly leverage all the
data and insights we are capable of collecting today, organizations
will use it to power applications providing more personalised
experiences, context aware services and targeted information and
offers just for me.
“Moment of truth applications
will be key to drive consumer
12. What this means for you
Ensure that you truly understand the customer, needs, behaviour
and that you develop and test the use cases based on this.
Make your mobile services data and fact driven but ensure that
you also include customer interviews and testing to evaluate the
perceived value to the customer. Use video recordings of customers
to share with everyone involved in the projects.
Measure, improve, test, measure, improve test. “Moment of truth
applications” are always a never-ending process to get right.
Make your mobile services data and fact driven
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“Consumers are still trying to
figure out what mix of devices and
screen sizes will suit them best”
IDC Sep 2014
6. Wearables breakthrough
2014 was predicted as the year of the smartwatch and wearables
by media and analysts everywhere but how many people do you see
wearing these devices? The launch of the Apple Watch in Q1 2015
and a broad portfolio of other wearable devices and sensors this
year will be the break-through. For starters, Apple is expected to sell
at least 15-20m devices in the first 3 months driven by Apple fans
and the appeal of being one of the first to own one.
These devices will be worn not only because they are useful, but as
fashion and trend statements. In addition to this we will see 100s of
other wearables and sensors ranging from health monitors, home
control devices and most likely, the consumer launch of Google
“In 2015, wearables will hit
Forrester Nov 2014
14. What this means for you
Either take a lead in this space by taking a chance with piloting
and launching wearable apps now or wait for your competition
and adjacent industries to show the way and take a fast follower
approach. Brands that are willing to experiment will be perceived
as the innovators in terms of PR and marketing but if we look at
revenue opportunities and long term leadership, it most likely won’t
make any difference if you’re first.
Think about how to manage the fact that employees are more likely
to buy their own wearables than the company.
Brands that are willing to experiment will
be perceived as the innovators
15. 7. Nearables, sensors & invisibles
Invisibles surround us everywhere monitoring and tracking our
movements, behaviour and state of health. They are the bluetooth
beacons, wifi hotspots and other technologies that you don’t actively
connect to or that your phone connects to automatically. This tells
e.g. stores, fast food places and transportation companies the
frequency of visitors, what products and services they are looking at,
how long they remain and trends based on time of day, day of the
week and other insights.
“The next generation for
computing is ubiquitous
FTC, Aug 2014
16. What this means for you
Hardware is cheap. Make sure your mobile teams have access
to the latest devices and sensors to test and understand the
Set aside time and budget to experiment.
Consider the approach and limitations in terms of privacy if you are
planning to track behaviour and location of employees.
Evaluate what information you can collect about your customers
from existing wifi hotspots and consider adding other types of
sensors such as Bluetooth beacons to improve data gathering. Start
with the basics. Test in one location first and roll it out across more
places depending on the results.
Evaluate what information you can
collect about your customers
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8. Healthcare takes a big mobile leap followed
by even bigger privacy concerns
Thanks to huge revenue growth and productivity gains we will
continue to see big investments and phenomenal innovations in
this space ranging from big pharmas and healthcare institutions to
start-ups and disruptive practices. Regulation will still be a barrier in
healthcare but legislators will be working closely with the industry.
There is also currently a large gap between consumer technology
hypes and what doctors want. Doctors are generally questioning
the usefulness of data and to what extent apps can really change
behaviour. They are a lot more optimistic about technologies that
help monitoring of illnesses, communicate remotely with patients
and analysing aggregated data to make predictions. However, data
collection is causing huge concerns for privacy advocates and
security analysts which may lead to new regulation.
“86% of clinicians believe
mobile apps will become
important for health management
over the next 5 years”
PWC Health Report Nov 2014
18. What this means for you
Our advice to healthcare companies is the same as for everyone
else. Work with customers whether it’s patients or health care
practitioners to solve real problems and needs by leveraging
technology. You can gain huge benefits in terms of experience,
productivity and cost. Ensure that the stakeholders are involved at
every step of the way and understand data that is being collected,
how it will be used and how it will benefit them.
Prepare for data intrusion attempts, security breaches and
for customers wishing to explore their data. Ensure that the
development teamshave the experience and skills to tackle these
Prepare for data intrusion attempts, security breaches and
for customers wishing to explore their data
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9. Mobile Loyalty & Payments go hand in hand
The most successful loyalty and mobile payment apps in 2014
didn’t come from a retailer, operator, financial institution or device
manufacturer but from innovative companies such as Starbucks,
Amazon and Uber. They’ve successfully integrated payments and
loyalty with their services to the extent that it’s become a part of
our daily lives. According to some measures, Starbucks made up
90% of physical location mobile payments in 2014. Neither of these
were dependent on NFC or Bluetooth. The success was based on
the value of giving the company your credit card details and other
personal details for the convenience and loyalty benefits given back
by the brand. Apple Pay will succeed as an in-app mobile payment
method for mCommerce and services apps but as a replacement for
credit cards it will be slow.
Add to this that 80 percent of your future profits will come from just
20 percent of your existing customers (CMO Exclusive) and that
companies need to spend 6 times more to gain a new customer than
selling to a regular customer (Thompson Group) and it’s clear that
loyalty and payments go hand in hand.
“Apple Pay is going to be a
Jackdaw Research Dec 2014
20. What this means for you
Take a step back and think about what your mobile payment and
loyalty platform would look like if you redesigned it from scratch for
the mobile user. Start by looking at what will make your customers
whether it’s online or in-store. Should you tie the users preferred
payment method (card, paypal, Apple Pay, etc) to your loyalty
program when they first sign up? What is the incentive to the user?
Think twice about what information you want to keep for yourself
and what you are willing to give away to the payment provider.
Use research, user testing and data to bring convenience and truly
relevant personalised experiences to your customers and you will
win. Take inspiration from Uber, Starbucks, Amazon and others that
have been successful in this space.
Integrate tightly with your loyalty program
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10. Mobile Services development becomes
easier and a lot more complex
Enterprise mobile app development will double in 2015 according
to IDC (report from Dec 2014). This has resulted in start-ups and
established companies launching a myriad of new useful tools
claiming to make app development easier through cloud based
backends, new cross-platform tools, drag and drop development
tools, plug-ins and more.
So does this mean that app development is becoming faster,
cheaper and easier? Unfortunately no, things are actually becoming
more complex. With 5000 new features and APIs for Android L, 4000
for iOS8, healthkit, carplay, homekit, equivalent technologies for
Android and Windows, new device sizes, security threats, business
process transformations and legacy backend systems development
is actually getting a lot more complex. This means that mobile
development projects are starting to resemble big IT projects for
many companies taking years to complete for big teams and the rate
of failure is rapidly rising.
This means that mobile development projects are starting to
resemble big IT projects for many companies taking years to
complete for big teams and the rate of failure is rapidly rising.
“In terms of applications,
single-focused, hightly usable,
very fast applications are the
way to go for now”
Flurry Nov 2014
22. What this means for you
Challenge yourself and your delivery teams whether they are internal
or external. Be realistic but also don’t allow timelines, budgets and
resources to run away.
Clearly prioritise your mobile service requirements and break them
down into smaller chunks and multiple initiatives starting with MVP.
No project should be longer than 5 months from inception to launch
and beyond this you need to plan for quarterly releases to keep up
with user demand and innovation.
Whenever possible, use resources with existing experience in a
particular area to reduce time to market, risk and deliver great quality
Evaluate the best solution for you whether it’s responsive web,
adaptive, native, hybrid or cross-platform tools.
Clearly prioritise your mobile service requirements
and break them down into smaller chunks
23. Fighting for a world
full of mobile solutions