Billions of smart phone users have already changed the business a lot. And mobile app development continues to play a major role in this regard.
However, such businesses are dynamic in nature. Latest mobile marketing trends are continuing to reshape the market and offer new opportunities to small businesses.
Here is the list of three such app development trends that can empower SMEs to grow faster and hold their own ground even against the larger enterprises.
Wearable technologies are the devices that serve as both accessories and computers. These devices interact with users’ Smart phones to deliver health-related data, alerts and push message notifications.
Since wearable technology is a new market, it will go through several phases and will create new services and practices in near future. Moreover, wearable technology has already started to expand beyond smart watches; smart clothes and smart jewelry are coming up as well.
Gartner Inc. forecasts that 274.6 million wearable devices will sell in 2016, compare to 232 million in 2015. Such a huge amount sales will generate $ 28.7 billion, from which $11.5 billion will come just from smart watches. [Source 1]
"From 2015 through 2017, smart watch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularizing wearables as a lifestyle trend. Smart watches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner.
Currently, established tech brands like Samsung, Apple, and LG are leading the Smart Watch and Smart Wear market. On the other hand, startups like Fitbit, Jawbone and Pebble are getting overwhelming success by developing wearable devices and apps for the masses.
How can wearable technologies offer new opportunities?
Experts predicted that a few big players and a great number of startups with innovative ideas will sustain the growth of wearable technologies together. Startup success stories like Barclaycard’s contactless payment gloves or sports wearables by Moov have already started to attract a section of emerging entrepreneurs.[source 2]
Wearable technologies market is a lucrative niche for SMEs for several reasons.
Opportunities for nontechnical businesses
- Low competition and growth opportunities: The wearable technologies market is relatively very young and less competitive and no one is established expert here, not even large organizations. SMEs can easily experiment with creative ideas and compete with industry giants like Apple or Samsung. Pebble and Fitbit are the perfect examples of startups which are directly competing with established giants.
- Huge potential market: The potential of the global market i enormous. Additionally, wearable devices come with mobile apps to keep the gadgets in sync with users’ smart phones. SMEs can partner with other enterprises and plunge into the market by developing applications.
- Experimentation: Wearable technologies are about to become fashion statements. SMEs can utilize this opportunity and wow customers with creative products. Wearable tech tattoos are the recent example of how enterprises are pushing the boundaries. Moreover, most resources for app development are quite affordable and sensors are also quite easy to built, so even SMEs can jump the bandwagon easily.
Though wearable technologies is an extended branch of IT industry, SMEs of other niches can easily make a profit from this market. The most common non-IT business niches which can associate themselves with this market are
- Health and fitness:- According to PricewaterhouseCooper , 77% of customers users wish that wearables will help them with exercising and 75% want to track medical information with their devices. It’s a huge opportunity for health and fitness business. They can either set up their own tech wing or partner with any tech company to enter this market.
- Fashion industry:- Smart sportswear is taking wearable techs market by storm right now. Smart wear like Barclaycard’s contactless payment gloves or Samsung’s NFC suits are expanding the opportunities for fashion businesses to join the market.
In conclusion, wearable technologies are opening new business fronts before the enterprises. Here both the competition and the barriers to entry are quite low. Small and medium enterprises can easily reap the benefits by joining early and staying ahead of the curve.
2.Big data and App Analytics
Big data is a buzz word nowadays. Gathering information for big data analysis through the mobile application is one of the major trends right now.
Big data is a huge amount of unstructured data collected from different sources for making crucial business decisions and product. Such huge amount of data is difficult to process through traditional RDBMS and requires sophisticated big data analysis systems.
Businesses are now trying to collect a huge amount of data about customer behavior, customer preferences, and changing business situations through the mobile applications (the number of global smart phone users is over 2 billion) for big data analysis. The latest trend of combining the big data element with applications is both fulfilling the needs of the businesses and creating new opportunities.
How can big data in application development benefit small business?
The big data is not only for large businesses. Its benefits remain the same for both small organizations and large corporations. Here are the some benefits of big data.
How can small businesses embrace big data practices?
- Big data allows narrower customer segmentation. Narrower customer segmentation implies more tailored products and service development which in turn, can yield both greater number of closed deals and increased revenue.
- Sophisticated big data analytics can unearth valuable insights and patterns which will help to devise new business strategies and reduce the cost.
- The insight gained from big data analysis is crucial for the development of next generation of products. Such products can easily make the current SMEs as the thought leaders of completely new markets and inspire customer loyalty.
- Big data analysis is helpful to store transactional data in a digital form, reducing the outflow of data.
- Mobile app development companies can come up with new ideas to for improving data collection method through the app. The more sophisticated the data collections methods are, the more business the app will make. Tech SMEs can seize this opportunity to increase more revenue by building more effective apps.
Let’s be honest, most of the big data analysis systems are designed for large corporations. Those are expensive for SMEs and aren’t designed keeping the needs of small businesses in mind. However, that doesn’t mean SMEs can’t take the advantage of big data. Here is a list of things which SMEs should look for in any analysis system before investing.
- Simplicity: The perfect big data solutions for SMEs should be easy to install and should take few days before the company can start to use it. Moreover, the system should not require marketing employees to undergo extensive training so that analysts and business users can use it without the need for the IT department to become involved.
- Cost: A big-data solution for the small businesses should be priced right, preferably billing strategy should allow them to start small and scale according to business growth. Such practices will take out excess financial pressure on the businesses.
On a different note, such solutions are relatively uncommon and both the number of small businesses and demands for big data analysis systems are high. SMEs can seize this opportunity by investing in a bunch of big data experts and infrastructure. Alternatively, they can build business partnerships for building a big data analysis solution, tailored to the SMEs’ needs.
The latest trend of cramming elements of big data inside the new generation of mobile apps can help small businesses to scale the business to new heights. This trend is here to stay and you should take advantage of it to gain competitive advantage or start a new vertical of business.
3.IoT(Internet of things)
IoT (internet of things) are the new set of smart devices (which can be as simple as a leather jacket or as complex as a jet engine) connected to the internet and can send data over a network. Such smart devices will completely change the way we interact with everyday items (imagine your clothes sending an alert, whenever you are about to develop rashes) and businesses.
Brendon o’ Brien, co-founder of Aria systems, put it perfectly, “If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The IoT is about to change it all over again”.
IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicted 30 billion mobile, tablets, wearable and other devices will be connected to the network by 2020. In 2009 only 2.5 billion devices were connected, primarily mobiles and tablets. Such a huge change will contribute nearly $ 1.9 trillion dollars to entire IT industry. Moreover, worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will touch $348 million mark in 2016, a sharp 23.7 % rise from 2015 spending of $281.5 million [Source 4]
. Such a large growth will open up a lot of business opportunities, nearly half which will be new product startups and 80% will be service providers.
How can IoTs benefit your businesses?
With cheaper internet connectivity, easy-to-built sensors, and large market; IoT can help both small startups and big MNCs to get their own share of the profits.
There are three key ways IoT can help SMEs.
- Better product development: IoT devices can send a lot of data about consumer behavior patterns and preferences of the target demographics. Based on this data, SMEs can introduce new products or modify the existing products for better business results.
- Smarter business decision: IoT is less about developing jaw-dropping products and more about integrating sensors. Such affordable yet sophisticated sensors can send real-time data about the product performances, details of usage and probable cause of product malfunctioning. SMEs can use those data sets to improve their services and gain great reputation in the process.
- Change in business model: IoT can completely change customer buying preferences and behavior which will radically change the existing business models. For example, Fitbit is already started to aggregate and share fitness data and stats. New startups are using those data sets to modify their business models and coming up with innovative products like the smart frying pan that tells when your cooking is done.
These app development trends are here to stay for long and will change the ways of doing business. SMEs should utilize these opportunities to grab the promising markets and outgrow their competitors.
List of external sources:
Source 1: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3198018
Source 2: http://www.wareable.com/wareable50/best-wearable-tech
Source 4: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3291817