As individuals want access to the web anytime, anywhere, and expect the right experience based on exact user context, one of the biggest challenges in 2014 will be whether or not brands can deliver on this promise. This challenge will fundamentally shake up how organizations need to interact with their customers.
Enterprises will have to be ready for a bigger shift than has ever been seen before. Brands no longer belong just to a company. They co-habit with the people who choose to interact with them, and by the end of 2014 this will resonate more than ever.
Netbiscuits’ 2014 predictions:
1. Customers’ lives will be run on mobile
Nomophobia is the fear of not being mobile connected due to a lack of battery power, no signal or loss of one’s mobile phone. Individuals find themselves unable to function normally without the presence of their mobile phone. Is this due to unequivocal reliance or the increasingly high expectations they have from their devices to help manage the day-to-day? People expect information to be accessible when they need it. People expect to be able to pay for things like parking meters or groceries with their mobile. And with the introduction of smart watches and wearables, people who love their devices can never be without them.
- This trend will be driven by new device categories such as smart watches and wearable gadgets, but less so by innovations such as Google Glass.
- Considerable growth is expected in the wearable tech space. For instance, many are predicting as many as 20 million smart watches to be sold in 2014.
- Exetech is developing the XS-3, a touch screen Android smart watch. With both Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity, plus GPS, it allows wearers to call directly from their wrist.
- Wearable tech brings the Internet closer to the user than ever before. Sensors can provide information for things such as health monitoring, while the use of location data becomes absolutely vital. This is the first step towards consumer acceptance of connecting everyday objects to the web.
2. Device landscape changes as emerging markets fuel growth
In 2014, an increasing number of individuals will be in a position to acquire their first-ever mobile device, especially in emerging markets. Here, mobile devices will often be used as the primary or only connection to the Internet. It will be more likely than ever that a customer’s first interaction with a brand will be on a mobile device.
- More low cost devices will be available through more outlets. For example, supermarkets around the world will stock cheaper alternatives to leading device brands. If established vendors do not respond with increased innovation and more choice for consumers, they will lose share.
- 2014 will be the year of the continuum of screen sizes. As more devices are released in the 5 to 7 inch range, traditional device classifications without more information become less useful. This time next year, we may start hearing users referring to their ‘screens’ rather than specific devices like a phone or tablet.
- There is lots of room for growth. Smartphone penetration in countries such as Brazil (26%) and India (13%) remains low. In many of these countries, consumers often opt for local vendor handsets and more frequently in the 5 to 7 inch range.
- As of July 2013, there were 26 different screen sizes among the top 100 most used devices on the Netbiscuits Cloud Platform. By the end of 2014, this could easily exceed 30.