Marketing manager Martin Clancy offers his thoughts on what will happen in the mobile web world this year.
ME has recently partnered with mobile web specialist dotMobi for a mini-series, comprising interviews, opinion, and guidance. The company has highlighted how crucial mobile sites are for businesses, the importance of device detection, the issue of mobile web fragmentation and the ten questions businesses should answer before developing a mobile web strategy.
With 2013 underway, dotMobi's marketing manager Martin Clancy has identified some key trends for the year ahead from a mobile web perspective.
1. Continued fragmentation
The proliferation of a vast array of different device types shows no signs of abating, with connected devices turning up in new contexts all the time – for example we recently added a web enabled tablet from Toys R Us to our DeviceAtlas platform. One trend we’re noting at the moment is watch phones – we’ll see if that one gains widespread traction or stays niche. That’s just on the device side of the equation - new operating environments like Mozilla’s mobile OS and Tizen may take further strides in 2013.
2. Multi-screen is the new normal
Transport of 1’s and 0’s over the internet is increasing. That’s not particularly specific to 2013, but the trend towards moving between multiple devices is most definitely on the increase. It means that marketers and brands need to tailor not only their content to be consumed across different screens but also to report and measure their campaigns on these channels.
3. Move over TV
TV as a primary source of media continues to be challenged by other device types as noted by Nielsen, the number of US households with TVs is in decline for the last 2 years.
4. Brands wake up to context
Brands will have to be much more conscious of context, and that goes beyond a simple desktop/mobile dichotomy. Just because you are on a phone, doesn’t mean you are rushing about the place or on public transport — the vast majority of tablet use is at home, but still it’s difficult to make contextual assumptions unless you know about the characteristics of the accessing device.
5. Responsive and Server Side (RESS)
We think you’ll hear more about this in 2013, a kind of best of both worlds approach to content adaptation, where an initial identification of the device can determine when to send an adaptive experience. It won’t be right for everyone, but it offers a better way than pure responsive to delivering great experiences without serving massive code payloads to all devices.
6. Doing business on mobile
We’ve seen a rapid growth in m-commerce – we’ve seen over 33 per cent of goMobi sites include an m-commerce feature. Google say 67 per cent of consumers said they’re more likely to make a purchase if a site is mobile-friendly. More proof that mobile web translates to real revenue.
7. Bandwidth concerns haven’t gone away
Despite the promise of higher speeds with the roll out of LTE, only the foolhardy would dismiss bandwidth and network usage efficiency as something to aspire to for mobile content. Short version: speed still matters in the UX stakes. Check out this tool to see what page weight you are delivering to mobile devices.
8. Move to web apps
Native apps still have their place but we think that the native app has already reached its high water mark, and there will be a continued shift of emphasis towards HTML5 apps delivered over the web. It just doesn’t make sense to maintain native apps across various platforms for many businesses.
9. Mobile advertising booming
It has exploded over the past couple of years. We think that trend is set to continue as more mobile specific real estate comes on stream.
10. Mobile to prevail as top web accessing device
Mobile phones will become the dominant web accessing device sometime by Q3 this year. Gartner said this, we think they are right and said so back in February 2012 - in any case the genie is well and truly out of the bottle by now.