- Posted January 2, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
How Smartphone Apps are Leading an eCommerce Revolution For Business
When the Internet first became an accepted standard for the purchasing of products and services, there was a great deal of mistrust on the part of consumers. Using a credit or debit card to part with hard earned cash via a young technology didn’t inspire faith. And rightly so. Just 25 years ago, the security procedures in place were lacklustre at best and both urban legends and real-life stories of people being swindled were commonplace. Thankfully, things got better and it wasn’t long before the Internet started appearing on mobile devices.
However, in its first incarnation, Wireless Application Protocol (or WAP) and its sketchy 2-tone LCD implementation harboured precisely the same kind of mistrust. Another leap in technological progress has been made since and, recently a company called Mobile App Direct has been at the forefront of the new mobile internet marketing era. The firm has created a revolutionary new mobile platform which allows small businesses to compete in the arena with the biggest brand names by capitalising on social media and viral marketing. The software’s impressive arsenal includes the ability to launch and track loyalty programs, send push notifications, manage QR code coupon campaigns, order food and book appointments. Let’s take a look at how all of this came about.
A History of Mobile Internet
While WAP phones were touted as being Internet-capable and useful for booking restaurants and aeroplane tickets, nobody would ever trust doing such important purchases on an interface resembling a pocket-calculator wrist watch from the 1980s. Equally embarrassing were some of the first attempts at touchscreen technology on mobile devices. Fortunately, with the formidable Steve Jobs at its helm, Apple’s release of the iPhone was to lay down the hardware foundation for a mobile Internet revolution to ensue.
Apple’s iPhone was the first smartphone web browsing experience which felt like browsing the Internet. Perhaps Apple’s software having a good reputation for security helped the process, but whether it was this or the fact that the iPhone was just so far ahead of its time, the bar had been raised in such a way which would set the trajectory for a revolution in the way consumers interacted with their favourite brands and businesses.
Statistics and Press Attention
New marketing platforms come and go and, as is often the case, the pioneering early adopters of these platforms either cash in on their initiative or are the ones to pay the price if the format doesn’t take off. Five years after the launch of the first seriously successful smartphone and mobile marketing is one platform which is most definitely worked. The New York Times cited mobile marketing as being “the most powerful media ever invented”. Each year smartphones and mobile marketing see a significant percentage increase in the amount of money being spent by businesses. The current total stands at $260 billion and this figure is increasing every year along with the number of smart phones in use. On its current trajectory, this latter figure stands to rise from 1 billion in 2012 to 2.1 billion by 2016.
It’s thought by many that one of the key reasons why mobile marketing has taken such a huge leap from nonexistence to marketing supremacy is its appearance coinciding with the popularisation of social media. These days, social media has become such an ingrained part of our culture that the relevant apps comes pre-installed in operating systems running on mobile devices. Using social media platforms on smartphones has created a phenomenally powerful tool for businesses to reach their respective consumer audiences. Consumers are able to share information on offers and bargains, products and services like never before.
The Ramifications for Small Businesses
Out of this gap in the market, innovative entrepreneurs are pioneering a revolutionary technology which provides a powerful tool to small business owners, allowing them to have complete control over easily creating fully customisable marketing platform app for their small business. A press release recently covered by one such a company is gaining a great deal of attention. Mobile App Direct has forged a service whereby for an extremely affordable sum of money, small businesses can have an app created and be given an administrative account for complete control over the entire interface from anywhere with a computer and an Internet connection. The technology is a fine example of changing with the market.
Each app is custom made to the business owner’s specifications and can be modified in just about any way imaginable. This allows small business owners to contact smartphone user clientele via push notification, keeping them up-to-date with current bargains, QR code coupon offers and, essentially, create entire viral marketing campaigns through social sharing. This is a great step forward for the free-market and affords small business owners the opportunity to complete with extremely established organisations, even if they only have from between 1 and 20 staff members. A revolution is indeed unfolding before our very eyes and the early adopters of these changes in market dynamic stand to make a great deal of money.