I recently read in a Forrester report about how the mobile mind shift, along with big data and analytics, is one of the big technology trends that is impacting customer behavior and needs. Yet, according to Forrester, for most eBusiness professionals, mobile contributes less than 5% of sales — unless they are selling hotel rooms or tickets. Additionally, the report revealed that most eBusinesses are spending less than 2% of their marketing and advertising budgets on mobile.
I was surprised to see such low numbers. Looks like many of us have not yet wrapped our arms around the magnitude of the mobile trend. We are unable to fathom that there are 1.8 billion Smartphones in the world today. These are our potential customers and they want to interact with a brand when they want and how they want. Whether they are depositing a check, or ordering a prescription at a pharmacy, buying shoes, or tracking their bike rides … today’s customers are always on the go and demand an on-the-go solution. Still, there are enough businesses that either don’t have a mobile strategy, or are still stuck in the desktop age instead having a mobile-first mentality. In my opinion, in this day and age, such an attitude can result in missed revenue opportunity and loss of competitive edge.
I understand that building apps is an investment of time and money and can be a daunting task for many businesses, especially small businesses. And the scarcity of talent in the mobile space doesn’t make things easier. Qualified candidates get picked up by companies in the blink of an eye. A recent article in Mobile Marketer talks about how big retailers are making up for the scarcity of talent by acquiring companies that are known for their mobile expertise. For smaller businesses that don’t have the capital to buy, the article goes on to list other options to build such as outsourcing.
I think the business case to invest in mobile is pretty clear. Let’s take the example of banks. According to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, financial institutions can save nearly $50 per year for every customer that deposits one check each month through a mobile device rather than at a branch. This savings would add up to $1.5 billion with mobile remote deposit capture!
But more than anything else, demand from customers is probably the biggest push for businesses to take action on mobile. Ever perused Google Play just for fun? A quick look up for some of the big retailers will show you how many people are downloading their apps. For example, eBay’s app has 25 million downloads. Clearly, customers are ready for a seamless mobile experience and are looking for a convenient way of conducting business. So, why wouldn’t you give it to them?