Mobile seems to have been one of the most important trends in digital marketing and ecommerce for the past five years now.
The technology evolves and improves every year bringing with it new challenges and opportunities for brands.
As we’re reaching the end of 2014 it’s a good time to look back on the past 12 months and discuss which were the most important mobile trends.
And while we’re at it I’ve also asked these experts to predict what we can expect to see from mobile in 2015.
Here’s what they had to say…
What do you think was the most interesting mobile trend in 2014?
Sarah Watson, group mobile manager at The Net-A-Porter Group
In 2014 mobile changed beyond recognition, again.
The devices improved. They’re now more powerful, waterproof in some cases and often much bigger, giving companies a lot more flexibility in the way they communicate with their consumers on the screen.
However, surprisingly the biggest change in mobile in 2014 hasn’t been the new devices available or their capabilities. The most significant change, in my view, is the advances in the ecosystem supporting and interacting with mobile devices.
Most importantly we’ve seen mobile payments via NFC or Apple Pay become a reality, changing the function of mobile devices forever.
Combine this with the wealth of data mobile devices yield and brands suddenly have an amazing new way to incentivise their customers and streamline the path to purchase.
Feeding into this phenomenon has been the use of iBeacons which haven’t yet been pushed to their limit.
From an online retailer’s perspective, iBeacons give you another way to link the physical world to the digital, creating more opportunities for companies to connect with their customers.
Matt Hobbs, mobile product lead at Just Eat
Perhaps it was not seeing an article every other day saying ‘mobile has finally arrived’. This could be the true litmus test that mobile has, actually, finally arrived.
Aside from that, the increased visibility, often via advertising, of voice control of mobile and home based devices was really interesting.
It’s a brave frontier of user interface that people have been trying to break through for many years.
Now all the big players are lined up to show their voice control is best, it’s a good thing for all mobile device users.
Carl Uminski, COO and co-founder at Somo
The shift from mobile as a destination, to a remote control for the world around us.
The connection of the physical and digital and using the mobile device to interact more deeply with traditionally ‘dumb’ objects.
Also, the ability to now target specific audiences on mobile, both through social and programmatic buying platforms.
Theo Theodorou, general manager EMEA at xAd
I think we are seeing brands and marketers taking a mobile first approach to their marketing.
I feel that companies now realise that mobile is a driving force in search and decision, they understand its importance, and are learning how and when to reach the mobile consumer.
Perhaps the most interesting element is that mobile is not seen just seen as an extension of desktop, brands are now integrating mobile with more traditional media outlets.
What do you think will be the most important mobile trends in 2015?
Matt Hobbs, Just Eat
We’ll see more and more companies emerge that use the transformative nature of mobile on mundane, day to day activities – coupling mobile with great operational execution.
The landscape changed so quickly in 2014, expect more and faster evolution in 2015.
And although wearables didn’t go large in 2014, as Apple finally launches its watch in 2015 I’d expect rapid adoption, likely followed by slight disappointment.
Then come 2016 expect a v2.0 Apple Watch that blows us all away… maybe with 100% accurate voice recognition.
Sarah Watson, The Net-A-Porter Group
2015 will be the year of seamless connectivity. Over the past couple of years a wireless infrastructure has been created, enabling devices to be connected all the time.
We’re now at a point where the consumer experiences begin on the go and truly can be continued on any other device.
The key here is ensuring experiences are translated, not transposed, across platforms so that consumers always have the best possible experience.
Carl Uminski, Somo
In no particular order:
- Mobile payment adoption.
- TV/video – consumption shifting from the actual TV to watching on mobile devices and the impact this will have on advertisers.
- Programmatic audience buying on mobile.
- Cross-device and multichannel attribution.
Theo Theodorou, xAd
Click and collect being adopted by more and more brands and mobile payment systems.
Mobile video will really be ramping up given increasing network speeds and brands looking to take advantage of ever-sharper, even bigger screens.
Wearable tech is an obvious one given the impending launch of Apple’s iWatch but one interesting example being developed at the moment is the process of allowing temporary tattoos to perform an assortment of different functions like transform your body’s sweat into useable power for other tech devices, such as a smartphone, smartwatch or fitness tracker.