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Top 10 Mobile Trends 2015


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Will 2015 be the year of wearables? Will Apple Pay succeed? Why are enterprise apps getting more expensive and complex? What's happening with Big data? How should developers treat phablets?

Every year‎ we analyse and summarise the key mobile trends for the following year and share with customers and partners. The main objective is to keep you up to date on what’s going on and give you insights into what these trends may mean for you. Last year our mobility predictions and UX/UI trend presentations were used in hundreds of workshops, lectures and jointly got more than 100,000 views on Slideshare.

The Top 10 Mobile Trends for 2015 are more exciting than ever as we are experiencing explosive growth in almost every area including mobile usage (apps and web), mobile commerce, payments, enterprise apps, Internet of Things, wearables, nearables (sensors) and invincibles, data driven mobile services (big data), mobility in healthcare, omni-channel retail and innovations in mobile application development.

Published in: Mobile

Top 10 Mobile Trends 2015

  1. 1. Top 10 Mobile Trends 2015
  2. 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 only world” Larry Page
  3. 3. (Replace with full screen background image) 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. 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. 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 monitor. “The growth in IoT will far exceed that of other connected devices” December 2014, Gartner
  6. 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. 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 - “Retail has hit the mobile tipping point with over 50% of traffic from mobile devices” Comscore Sep 2014
  8. 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.
  9. 9. (Replace with full screen background image) 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. 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 displayed. 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 are using. Rethink adaptive design based on screen size and navigation
  11. 11. (Replace with full screen background image) 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 purchase decisions” Forrester
  12. 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
  13. 13. (Replace with full screen background image) “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 Glass. “In 2015, wearables will hit mass market” Forrester Nov 2014
  14. 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. 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 connectivity” FTC, Aug 2014
  16. 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 opportunitiees. 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
  17. 17. (Replace with full screen background image) 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. 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 issues. Prepare for data intrusion attempts, security breaches and for customers wishing to explore their data
  19. 19. (Replace with full screen background image) 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 slow-burn success” Jackdaw Research Dec 2014
  20. 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 come back more frequently in terms of user experience of payments 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
  21. 21. (Replace with full screen background image) 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. 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 services. 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. 23. Fighting for a world full of mobile solutions since 2005 web email