When you look at the aspects of positioning yourself in business, think about where the world is going and where you should be to set yourself in its path. Easier said than done, right? How does one know where the world is headed? The answer is to take in as much information as you can that provides the clues to where things are going. Back in my investment days, I spent a lot of time reading research reports and other material that discussed future technologies and trends.
I used to follow an internet analyst named Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley. She was dubbed the Queen of the Net by Barrons in ’98, and has been there since Netscape did its IPO. Mary now heads up the Global Technology Research Team, and her latest report has eye opening predictions on the growth of mobile technology.
Meeker’s team predicts that, within the next 5 years, “more users will connect to the internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs” and that this trend will result in new opportunities for a lot of companies. Her analysis predicts a ramp up with Apple devices at a rate of 11 times faster than AOL and Netscape experienced in the early 90’s. On the same path, 20% of the world’s mobile phones are on 3G technology. I remember just a few short years ago when almost none of our team in India had cell phones, but now every one of them does, most with iPhones.
The implications of this in the ecommerce world are huge. Her report details features like location-based services, time-based offers, mobile coupons, push notifications and more, all creating new opportunities for existing and new businesses. Even virtual goods sales have shown huge grown in Chinese companies.
According to Meeker, more users are willing to pay for content on mobile devices than on desktops for key reasons such as:
1) Easy to Use/Secure payment systems
2) Small price tags with most being under $5
3) Established storefronts like iTunes that allow easy discovery and purchase
4) Personalization, which is more important on a mobile device than on desktops
So now that we’re all thinking about where this is going and realizing that over the next few years more of us will be using internet on our phones rather than our computers, what can that mean for you and your business? What is the opportunity for you to be more accessible to your customers? Can they connect with you easier or faster? Are there coupons or location based services you could provide to them? Is there a mobile product or service that you could provide that would benefit consumers?
This market is already big, but the room to grow and benefit is still vast. On the flip side, if we do nothing with this mobile opportunity, will we lose a market share of our business? Don’t be left behind.