Steve Jobs said that “innovation distinguishes leaders and followers.” As the most profitable technology company in the world, more companies need to heed this advice in relation to their business models. So, what will lead and what will follow in 2022 and beyond? Today we’re discussing the latest trends in the mobile market so eCommerce sellers can benefit in a big way.
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Though a vast number of changes have been implemented in mobile technology over the past two decades, new innovation continues every day. From the days of green screens to finally accessing the internet to mobile banking, we can do everything from our phones nowadays. We can run our businesses with them, video chat across the world, send money in seconds. Mobile technology is being implemented in more and more unique ways into things like wearable devices. You may wonder, well what’s next frankly? What’s the next evolution? What will be the focus for consumers?
Latest mobile market trends
Emerging technologies can be hard to predict accurately when innovation is continuously happening in the field of mobile telecommunications. Over the last couple of years, there have been drops in smartphone sales while other devices are starting to gain traction and emerge. Wearable devices are the new craze and even flip phones are back on the rise again, a trend from over 20 years ago. Huh? Enterprise-level companies need to understand these changes and trends, and why consumers are asking for them.
We’re also increasingly seeing more use for mobile technology for use in gaming and artificial reality. The evolution of the phone has gone from a simple communication device to a tool for all leisurely activities. Staying on top of these technology trends is critical for sales forecasting and potentially growing your business into new areas of mobile retail.
Global mobile market increases 3pl fulfilment
Even though in 2020 smartphone vendors sold approximately 1.38 billion smartphones around the world, global sales of mobile devices saw a decline by 2.1%. This is largely due to the pandemic of course with retail stores closed. Many Asian factories couldn’t manufacture phones as well, inevitably meaning shipments dropped by over 31 million units in the single month of February 2020. It only got increasingly worse from there. However, now in late 2021, sales are on the rise again in a big way.
The UK smartphone market is estimated to have 53.58 million users. 95% of smartphone owners use their mobile every day and the UK smartphone accessories market reached £1.9 billion in 2020.
With over 290 million smartphone users, revenue generated from sales was valued at 77.5 billion last year. A research study from Juniper Research forecasts that sales of iPhones alone will bring in over $200 billion in 2022.
Europe is another market giant for smartphones, with a combined 826.5 million subscriptions.
Smartphone technology will continue to improve and expand retail sales with mobile accessories and more. In 2021, the number of smartphone users is over 6 billion people, which roughly translates to 80% of the world population. This mobile market is one of the biggest and will only improve more and more in 2022 and beyond.
The 5G explosion
The long-anticipated wait for 5G is finally over. With global 5G anticipated to hit one billion in 2022, it will soon become the new norm. What this promises to deliver is increased speed and connectivity, a staggering 100 times faster than 4G. This will improve the user experience overall from apps to video content, VR to gaming, and so much more.
This means that engagement and retention rates will most likely rise. Apps will be less faulty and so will video marketing content. How can your business adapt to the new 5G opportunity? How can you enrich your products and assist the customer experience more?
The future of wearable devices
According to Statista, the number of wearable devices worldwide has more than doubled in the space of three years, forecasted to be used by more than one billion people by 2022.
Currently the most popular wearable device is the smart watch. Other wearable devices that will be gaining a lot of momentum over the next year include smart glasses and smart clothing.
The global mobile market for smartwatches reached almost 50 billion in 2020. So far in 2021, it’s already reached almost 60 billion.
Smart glasses are the next breakthrough in wearable technology. They grew a lot of popularity in 2021 and they are a huge trend that is sure to grow in 2022 and beyond. Some of the most popular smart glasses already on the market are Ray-Ban stories, Amazon Echo frames, and Google glass. Not only can you take pictures and video, but listen to music and take phone calls.
Smart glasses add a new level of convenience and interaction for users. More and more technology companies are currently working on prototypes to make them more fashionable and include AR technology and expanded mobile capabilities. Apple is also in the works for smart glass technology with Apple glass, but the release for those is scheduled in 2023.
What is smart clothing? Really? Yes, this is a thing now. Many popular companies like Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren are already experimenting with smart clothing technology. Smart clothing essentially is electronic devices designed to communicate with smartphones on the wearer’s body. Smart clothing or smart wear will have several unique functions. For instance, smart activewear.
Smart activewear can measure biometric data for fitness enthusiasts that connects to an app on their phone. What about business?
AIO Smart Sleeve – Compression sleeve that uses electrocardiogram (ECG) technology to monitor heart rate activity.
Smart work clothes are being designed by Samsung which includes a suit that can exchange digital business cards, unlock phones, and interact with other devices.
As this technology increases it would be prudent to figure out what segment of the market you want to focus on. Should you expand to the smart glasses and smart clothing market? As history proves, innovation always creates sellers’ craze. This is what is new and cool, and most of all, unique. It’s sure to gain momentum.
Mobile technology and AI
Artificial intelligence is already transforming mobile technology, though most of us are unaware of it. AI is already used within most cameras, facial recognition, cyber security and search engine/voice searches.
AI contributions use microprocessors to predict what will happen next for the consumer’s actions based on behaviour patterns. This could be everything from searches to buying online and what advertisements to display, a gold mine for marketers. AI stores millions of data points for each user which presents a clear understanding of what they will or will not buy, where they want to go, and what activities they wish to do.
Cybersecurity is another major threat that AI is improving upon. With more and more information being stored online customers are at an increased risk of hackers. AI analyses network traffic constantly to recognise patterns that suggest nefarious intentions so users can be protected better.
The last thing that AI will improve upon within mobile technology is AR/VR. The latest release from Mark Zuckerberg and “Meta” presents a completely new artificial world, known as the “metaverse.” Users can already use their phones with VR apps on iPhones and Android smartphones to be used with headsets. This trend is sure to take off and be a huge market disruptor.
Innovative retailers capture more market share
Innovation in technology is important, but so is innovation in customer experience. User-friendly devices and the latest tech will always be paid attention to, but not delivering on the experience side can also slump sales.
Innovation in technology and customer experience
With reference to Steve Jobs again, his company Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry in 2007 with the iPhone. The introduction of Apps created an entirely new space for customer interaction, businesses, creators, major publications. Combining a sleek design with amazing new technology made them the #1 mobile phone retailer in the world. Touch screen technology was introduced, and other companies copied this idea. All around it was a new shift in how customers interacted with a product.
No stranger to innovation, Apple also revolutionized the music industry with their 1 dollar per song technology model with iTunes. As digital technology increased, and cd’s declined no record label currently had a digital distribution system to rely upon. Therefore, it took a technology company to save the music industry. This is a lesson in interaction.
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney
Apple got all the labels on board with their platform and the rest is history. They lead the market in music retail for years. However, moving forward customer wants and needs shifted quickly again. Innovation was required as more consumers wanted more music for less money rather than the 1 dollar per song model.
Spotify is now the leading music platform. Spotify has captured the market share of the music industry in modern retail because of their subscription model, much like Netflix or prime. The added value for the price is exponentially better with their service, along with a great tech interface. Customers’ needs pivoted with the times and so did the technology as a result. Much like smart glasses and smart wear, innovation is quick, and companies need to move on these trends to gather market share.
The point is that companies need to keep paying attention to the beating of the drums in the streets. They need to understand what is happening, paying close attention to unique trends, and how customers prefer to interact with products, and why. Should you be focusing more on the wearable devices or phones, or both in 2022? Maybe accessories and upselling related items that better predict buying patterns for convenience. Maybe improve packaging and shipping.
How can your business innovate and recreate the customer interaction experience? Is it unique deals? Is it faster delivery? How can you compete better in the space that you’re in? What increased value and innovation do you bring over your competitors?
Faster delivery is your competitive advantage
The customer has more options for buying decisions in a capitalistic mobile market structure with multiple competing companies. This puts the customer in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding what they want to buy, why, and from who they want to buy. Quality tends to be closely related within different industries as many of them export from the same manufacturers. It’s similar in mobile technology as it is in fashion or homewares, sporting goods, etc. So, how do you get a leg up on the competition if the quality of product is similar? One simple way is to offer better service.
Instant gratification will always be a cornerstone of great customer service. The quicker the better. Working with a 3pl to streamline your operations will improve customer retention for mobile phones and accessories for next day delivery. Staying ahead of your competition will be a challenge of tech and trends, but also the end user experience of buying and shipping.
Let us know how we can assist your enterprise-level logistics in the mobile market while you integrate into new innovative trends. Happy selling.