There is no denying that the world is moving towards the mobile industry in droves. Earlier this year, the number of worldwide smartphone users crossed an unprecedented record of 1 billion. The rise of applications in devices have ushered in new business opportunities across the board. Now, consumer brands are looking to cash in on the digital growth.
How will mobile apps change?
According to Gartner (NYSE:IT), a leading information technology research company, one-third of consumer brands will integrate payments into their own mobile apps within the next three years. Naturally, this trend is an effort to increase the bottom line. Many companies already offer apps to provide timely information and product access to users, but enhancing the apps to make purchases easier will likely lead to higher sales and profits. It is estimated to have the biggest effect on retail outlets in categories such as fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment.
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“Many consumer brands have launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities such as offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. A few early adopters have integrated payment functions into their apps. Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. “Branded apps should be good shopping apps in the first place, and payment is only the final step before making the sale. To achieve this, they will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially.”
CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Do trends support the mobile industry and apps?
The future for the mobile industry and apps look extremely positive. Companies like Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) expect billions of smartphones to be sold in the next few years. Meanwhile, apps are already showing explosive growth. Over the past four months, Google Play (NASDAQ:GOOG) grew daily revenue 43 percent across the 20 major countries monitored by Distimo, an application and market analytics firm. The Apple App Store (NASDAQ:AAPL) for iPad and iPhone increased revenues by 21 percent for the period. Apple generated $15 million per day in November from its App Store, and Google Play, pulled in just below $3.5 million per day last month.
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