No business or human activity can call itself out from the mobile revolution. This year, the number of mobile users in the world has grown to 5 Billion, of whom 1.6 Billion use e-commerce.
98% Millennials own a smartphone and 63% use it shop online, while the average American adult spends at least 3 hours a day on their mobile device.
Mobile devices represent an unprecedented opportunity for all kinds of business, provided they are able to take advantage of them. Therefore it is worth to try and be prepared for the trends that will dominate the Mobile Apps market this year.
Let’s have a look at 7 upcoming trends and innovations for 2018.
1. Internet of Things
As the market for IoT devices develops and we look forward to seing the first self-driving cars, Internet of Things will soon become mainstream.
They will allow users to operate devices at a distance, whether it’s answering the door, opening the car or tracking the luggage. Moreover, mobile apps will become a key complementary, if not the foundation, for wearables, i.e. electronic technologies integrated into items of clothing and accessories.
2. Mobile Payments
Mobile has become the most used shopping channel, especially among Millennials. Not only do mobile shoppers expect a smooth omni-channel experience, but they also want to be able to pay on the spot.
While more than 20% Apple consumers have grown accustomed to using the Apple Pay technology whenever they can, retailers are prepared to invest in e-commerce apps, integrating online catalogues, internet banking and e-payments. More advanced apps will also be able to generate contracts and bills and will integrate e-signature.
3. Android Instant Apps
I.e. native apps that function like websites, which you don’t need to download on your smartphone.
Instant apps have existed for years and the number is going to grow in 2018, as consumers struggle to fit all the apps they need into their smartphones.
As 50% mobile apps are uninstalled because they take up too much storage, instant apps are the solution, as users can simply use them whenever they need without downloading them on their phone. Moreover, these apps are just like websites, which means that they run smoothly on any Android version.
4. Machine Learning
Apps aren’t just programmed to answer the users’s questions, now they are able to predict what the user will need too.
Machine Learning teaches computer programs to recognize complex patterns by analysing large data sets and to make predictions based on it.
From customised Android launchers providing you with the app you need when you need it, to e-commerce apps that learn about your purchase habits and make intelligent suggestions, Machine Learning has entered the mobile world and is here to stay.
5. On-demand Apps
Uber, Netflix and Airbnb have opened the way to on-demand apps, i.e. apps that allow you to get a service at the last minute, without booking in advance.
These apps have entered and disrupted a wide range of markets so far, from taxi service (Uber) to food delivery (Deliveroo) and hospitality (Airbnb).
Not only do on-demand apps charge limited or no fees for their services, but they are also able to find the nearest and fastest solution for consumers, thus gaining an unprecedented competitive advantage over brick and mortar retailers.
6. Augmented Reality
Having been invented for videogames, Augmented Reality is rapidly entering all industries, from Retail to Automotive.
In 2018 we’ll see the proliferation of apps recreating products in all details and providing a showroom view for buyers to make careful decisions. This includes games (such as Pokemon Go), turism apps, showing the nearest restaurant/ hotel/information point, apps for furniture retailers, projecting a sofa into your living room (such as Ikea Place), and much more.
Moreover, AI will also be used to train employees in healthcare for surgery and other procedures.
Education is adopting new technologies to combine learning and engagement, that is why Gamification apps have become wide-spread.
Gamification turns tasks into challenges that users can complete on their own or as part of a team.
Whether it’s a test to check children have studied a chapter or a competition to motivate salespeople to do their best, Gamification is the perfect combination of fun, business and education.