It’s no surprise that our world is increasingly digitized, thanks to smart devices. As users stay dependent on their smartphones to work, study and play, the absence of one can bring much to a halt. This shift has also influenced the field of software development in Sri Lanka and other offshoring destinations, while dedicated partnerships with cloud service providers (such as that of a dedicated AWS partner, for example) have further heightened in this fast-paced, on-demand digital landscape. Technology companies are keen to embrace what’s trending in the world of mobile, so they can transfer these specialties over to their clientele.
However, certain behaviours are key driving factors for any technology, and the world of mobile is no exception. Before delving deeper into what exactly these trends and technologies are, it’s useful to know what is driving the change, and why. This on-demand service culture has shortened turnaround times for the average product or service to reach the customer, once an order is made. With even the most elementary needs being met via the convenience of a smartphone, companies definitely need to meet their customers where they are. But this alone won’t cut it, due to all the noise.
In other words, the digital landscape is replete with brands and content that advocate their own products and services. With an endless stream of options to choose from, the average user is not just overwhelmed, but is also constantly bombarded with ads that follow them wherever they go. In the midst of it all, how is your business to stand out? Add to this the fact that attention spans have further reduced on the consumer’s part; with so many options to choose from, users aren’t going to wait for an agent to connect, or for a page to load. They are simply going to move on, most probably towards a competitor.
While digitization has opened up numerous opportunities to reach vast consumer audiences, it has also upped the ante in terms of making a good impression. With numerous other prospects vying for your customer’s attention, understanding what can really drive impressions, engagement and eventually revenue across mobile boils down to a basic, yet powerful combination – your overall business strategy, and the trends currently shaping today’s mobile technologies.
In no particular order, here’s a roundup of a few such high-traction trends – which you can also consider for engagement strategies on mobile, for your own business.
There’s no doubt that AI is a blanket trend which has been vastly influencing today’s many technologies. With AI being incorporated into pretty much any use case, it’s easy to see why it can be placed at the top of any technology-based list. However, narrowing down into certain subset technologies backed by AI shall help draw much context as to what exactly is trending, and why. Conversational AI is one such trend, as it has been at the forefront of elevating Customer Experience (CX) for businesses both big and small.
Used in chatbots, conversational AI mimics a human-like experience as users interact with it, while also gauging sentiments such as intent and mood. With Natural Language Processing (NLP), chatbots powered by conversational AI can be trained to identify sentiments better, thereby improving their stance as virtual assistants. This drastically streamlines the duties that human agents need to do, as common questions can be handled by the chatbot.
Leading conversational AI platforms offer omnichannel interactions, so customers can be reached where it’s most convenient for them – mobile or otherwise. Configure your chatbot to toggle between human agents, as the situation demands. On top of that, modern chatbot builders require little to no code, which makes the addition of conversational AI an initiative that is easy to transition to, with a short learning curve.
Another AI offshoot, analytics backed by AI and machine learning capabilities have skyrocketed in demand – mostly owing to the fact that big data is highly prevalent across the business landscape. With even the simplest operations amassing vast amounts of data, such repositories are ideal starting points for AI-powered analytics and business intelligence. This is because large quantities of data are needed for AI and machine learning, especially during the initial stages where bots need to be trained before they are ready to be deployed into live environments.
Big data has made this possible, as the big hindrance for AI and machine learning is alleviated with these massive repositories. While areas such as data science have been leveraged, niche specialties such as citizen data science (which requires no coding skills, only industry-specific experience) is also trending. While these specialties make sense of large and unstructured repositories of big data, what about answering questions pertaining to business decision making?
Business Intelligence (BI) has also been massively influenced by AI, as plugging in existing big data sets that would’ve otherwise been lying dormant has enabled companies to identify trends and patterns for intelligent business decision making. By asking specific, pressing questions, today’s BI solutions are capable of addressing quandaries of any calibre or scale, in order to meet customer demands across the digital landscape, and beyond.
Just like AI, Augmented Reality (AR) has increased in demand, thanks to a need for life-like experiences from the convenience of a smart device. AR has particularly been used for creating immersive gaming experiences (think Pokemon GO), but has gradually made its way into the consumer landscape. With e-commerce skyrocketing throughout this past year, the requirement to offer trial experiences that are as good as the real thing is one which has differentiated many B2C companies from their competitors.
Whether it’s trying on clothes or makeup, AR makes it possible to check items out and assure complete confidence in users, before they make their purchase. Add to this the AR that is used to create immersive experiences within interactive digital maps; find what’s around you simply by focusing your smart device towards a place of interest, with suggestions and recommendations popping up on your screen.
All in all, while digital platforms have made products and services accessible to users, the incorporation of immersive experiences through AR have significantly increased the level of engagement and loyalty users can instil, when buying goods online.
Today’s digital scope isn’t simply confined to mainstream aspects such as mobile devices and cloud support services. Otherwise regular devices and appliances being turned ‘smart’ thanks to digitization is what makes IoT a movement that is high-potential, insightful and lucrative. With digitized, smart devices such as smart watches, voice assistants and home appliances, controlling all these with your smartphone is as easy as installing an app and tapping a few buttons.
But the power of IoT goes well beyond that. The accumulation of data enables intelligent insights, often on a real-time basis. In essence, this connects over to AI-powered analytics and BI, since activities generate massive amounts of big data for both historical and predictive analysis. As a result, as most electrically powered devices have the capability of being transformed into IoT devices, one’s personal smartphone will prove to be the ‘control centre’ for such gadgets.
As social distancing continues to be the new norm, users are also continuing to rely on digital platforms for meeting their daily needs. Most of this centres around e-commerce, with customer experience being an equally important contributing factor. Whether it’s getting groceries or food delivered, mobile apps enable a seamless journey, from initial order to final fulfilment. Thanks to technology, it is possible to execute highly autonomous business concepts which don’t require proprietary assets. In other words, partnering with third-party providers to offer consumers an end product is very much possible – and even a profitable business concept.
However, the typical user journey for such a concept can soon become entangled and confusing, especially if it isn’t streamlined during the design process of the mobile app development cycle. With multiple entities involved to fulfil a typical customer order, ensuring CX that’s practical yet intuitive can be a deceptively simple process – but is imperative to get right.
While trends and topics pertaining to contactless technologies typically focus on specific technologies such as digital payment systems, the entire contactless concept comprises stellar UI/UX which is built with pragmatic distancing guidelines in mind.
What was initially the base for trading Bitcoin is now a prime option for enabling fast and secure transactions in any currency, locally and around the world. With its distributed general ledger and decentralized capabilities, the blockchain concept is now being used to facilitate payments that go beyond legacy banking systems. With current protocols archaic, complex and time-consuming, Blockchain can significantly streamline payments by reducing time and effort, while keeping security on maximum thanks to its high-level encryption capabilities.
In turn, this provides advantages for cross-border transactions, while reducing bank commissions. With conventional wire transfers taking several days to process, the utilization of blockchain for incorporating fast, secure and efficient financial transactions is a boon that numerous leading banks all over the world have embraced.
Apart from the transactions themselves, Blockchain can also be used to deploy smart contracts. Being automated programs that are implemented via a certain action or trigger, these autonomous contracts can further speed up business operations based on payments that are realized. For example, once payment is received for an ordered set of goods, a smart contract can automatically generate an action to release shipments – a great way to keep things moving without waiting on manual intervention, and without the prospect of bottlenecks due to errors.
As the world goes increasingly mobile, an influx of users means an equally high risk of malicious activity. With zero-day threats always round the corner, companies need to stay vigilant, in order to safeguard their networks and keep data secure. Cybersecurity solutions are abundant, without a doubt. However, cybersecurity is far from a monolithic specialty, what with numerous specialist services housed under it. With every mobile device counting as an endpoint, ensuring that every connection to your network is threat-free requires round-the-clocking monitoring, and threat intelligence.
Add to this the requirement of penetration testing and various vulnerability assessments, all of which ensure that your network is being detected for threats 24/7. But in today’s highly vulnerable cyber climate, this won’t suffice. With strict rule-based policies and a unified point of access, ensuring remediation protocols to affect potential threats is of absolute importance, so you and your team can rest assured that your systems are constantly protected.
In a world that is replete with smartphones, the dominance of mobile technologies is here to stay. A number of trends fuel mobile as of current, with AI being one of the biggest. From analysing big data to building intelligent chatbots, the use cases for AI are as varied as the outcomes expected. With little to no programming expertise required to configure turnkey solutions such as BI, enterprise vendors are offering a faster time to market, and minus a steep learning curve.
Taking things a notch further, AR offers immersive experiences that have shaped the way people try and buy goods online. From virtual browsing to fit-ons, use cases for AR have dramatically redefined the way that people engage in e-commerce, by primarily eliminating the doubt that takes hold in due course of buying something that is only tangible until after it has reached one’s doorstep. To further fuel e-commerce, customer-centric user journeys are highly prevalent today, especially within businesses that offer products and services sourced from multiple third-parties.
The importance of a seamless and effortless user journey cannot be stressed, since even the slightest hiccup can cause unwanted abandonment for businesses depending on sales generated through mobile apps. With devices beyond the smartphone turning ‘smart’, IoT is another such area, as mobile apps will be imperative for controlling IoT devices and processing the data they obtain. On the other hand, blockchain enables faster, secure and affordable transactions, while mobile security ensures that everything connects and collaborates within a protected environment.