Facebook just reached its billionth customer, and the resounding focus for the next billion is mobile, says CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It’s no surprise that more people every day are communicating and conducting business on smartphones and tablets.
Already, more mobile phones are being shipped around the world than computers. In fact, based on sheer numbers alone, almost everyone in the world has a mobile phone. There were one billion active subscribers in 2000, and almost six billion today. With a world population of just over seven billion, the business opportunity for mobile is big.
How Some Industries are making the most of Mobile
• Travel: US mobile travel bookings (excluding corporate managed travel) grew from zero to $2.6 billion in just a few years, thanks to smartphone growth. The projection for 2013 is more than $8 billion, and that is still less than three percent of the total opportunity.
• Healthcare: Of the 110 million smartphone subscribers in the US, 75 million use mobile phones to acquire health information, a trend that is completely changing the healthcare delivery chain. Mobility allows people to access information and personal records, communicate with their physician, receive remote healthcare services, and more.
• Retail: More than half of smartphone users have purchased goods with their phones. Yet retailers beware, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. Mobile sites don't need bells and whistles like flash-enabled graphics, but they do need relevant content: hours, phone number, address, and directions. Sounds simple, yet a majority of businesses still don't have a site built for mobile users and are missing opportunities.
As businesses embrace mobility, it’s really about simplifying the user experience overall. Admittedly, obstacles exist since different mobile operating systems are preventing a seamless experience across devices. Yet Deloitte suggests that companies can and should ensure that mobile content and services are optimized for different types of devices based on size, type, capabilities, and target market. Seamless content sharing over varied mobile devices and a common user experience can yield a competitive advantage. The bottom line: make sure your enterprise creates the best user-friendly, relevant mobile website to meet the needs of the mobile user market today.