Report: Surging Mobile Use Drives $19 Billion Market
If you still haven't optimized your business website and other products for mobile viewing and purchasing, your business may be falling behind fast by not catering to a quickly-expanding customer base.
In less than two years, mobile's share of internet traffic has more than tripled, up from 4 percent to 13 percent of global traffic, according to a new trend report from Mary Meeker, a partner at Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.
In India, for instance, mobile internet use surpassed desktop use for the first time in May, and is now above 60 percent in that country. Four years ago, it was almost nonexistent. Meeker and co-author Liang Wu expect other countries to follow suit. This trend points to a considerable shift in consumer habits, especially since more than 29 percent of U.S. adults now own a tablet or e-reader, the report says, and shopping increasingly happens online.
Related: Google's Tips for Using Mobile to Market to Holiday Shoppers
This trend also points to increased opportunities for companies working or investing in the mobile space. Global annual revenue from a combination of mobile advertising and apps in 2012 totals $19 billion, up from $15 billion last year and little more than $5 billion in 2010, Meeker and Wu found.
Other interesting takeaways from the report include:
Consumer content will be increasingly personalized. Marketers are expected to grow more sophisticated in their outreach methods, seeking to increase the relevance of consumer-facing ads. One might imagine that Google's social recommendations -- displaying friend-approved products in search results -- will also play a role.
The startup environment will become nearly 'plug and play.' Web services and various tools are expected to become increasingly more affordable, user-friendly and accessible, making it easier than ever to launch a business. Already, web hosting and cloud storage can be had at reasonable prices through Amazon and other companies, and skilled workers can be found for everything from interior design to logo creation on outsourcing platforms such as Elance and Freelancer.
The future belongs to the asset-light generation. What does that mean? "Be a 25-year-old," the authors advise. Not literally, of course -- unless you are one -- but in your attitude toward possessions. New technologies are making it possible for business owners to save time, money and space. Box and other cloud-storage services can replace physical filing cabinets, mobile credit card reader Square can replace costly point-of-sale systems and so on.
Related: No Mobile Website? You're Probably Turning Customers Away
In what ways is your business going mobile? Let us know in the comments below.
Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.