To put things in perspective and understand while mobile phones are such an essential commodity in 2022 and beyond, let’s first look at some generic usage statistics:
- There are 7.1 billion mobile users today, and the forecast puts that number at 7.26 billion in 2022 and up to 7.49 billion by 2025. (Source: Statista.com)
- Just over 15 billion mobile devices are operating worldwide this year, and the number will increase to 18.22 billion by 2025. (Source: Statista.com)
- In 2021, the global mobile app revenues are expected to amount to circa 693 billion U.S. dollars, then 808.7 in 2022. (Source: Statista.com)
In other words, mobiles are here to stay, and their usage will also influence other market trends. Here’s a look at some of the most impactful ones.
5G Global Adoption on the Rise
The June 2021 Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that by the end of 2021, there will be around 580 million 5G subscriptions, and the number is expected to hit one billion in 2022 and 3.5 billion by 2026.
5G service providers will offer subscribers more data, albeit some may impose minor restrictions for monetization purposes.
The main advantage of 5G over 4G is that it offers faster connection speeds and a latency of less than one millisecond. The next generation of apps will capitalize on these advantages to deliver a better user experience and functionality beyond their wildest expectations. The future will have many applications in the fields of connected vehicles and homes, IoT, virtual reality, IoT-enabled healthcare, and, sure, eCommerce. Therefore, there is high confidence in 5G for the future of mobile communications. Most consumers believe it is better than 4G, offering business benefits, having a high potential for AI and AR applications, and much more.
Hybrid apps or Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are essentially company websites that look like native apps. They are more cost-effective to build, and business owners can upload them to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store quickly and at a fraction of the cost of native apps too.
Besides being cheaper to build, hybrid apps work offline, which benefits the users, who can access a site or online store without an Internet connection or when their connection is too weak. And, because the hybrid apps load very fast, users will have a mobile-first experience without distracting elements like page loading waiting times.
Hybrid apps present other significant advantages over native apps. Here are a few relevant statistics:
- PWAs offer an average of 50% increase in customer engagement (Source: SmashingIdeas.com)
- PWAS can require more than 90% less mobile storage compared to native apps. For example, Twitter Lite PWA requires less than 3% of the device storage space compared to Twitter for Android. (Source: developers.google.com)
- PWAs increase page views by circa 134% and lower bounce rates by 42.86% (Source: web.dev)
- The number of PWAs rose by 170% in 2020 (Source: firt.dev)
In addition, PWAs can be optimized for search engines, are linkable and sharable, and don’t need an app marketplace to be discovered by the users. They are accessible on desktop, too, on all browsers. Finally, a major benefit for businesses is sending push notifications 24/7 to the users, even when the PWA is not open. PWAs will remain a trend in 2021 due to added browser support, enhanced distribution, and even more capabilities.
Mobile Payments on the Rise
The accelerated rise of mobile payments is not only an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also awe it to the advance of the technology that offers better security and privacy. ReportCrux expects the market to reach USD 8,724.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 34.2% during 2020-2027.
Cashless payments - in all their varieties - are convenient, fast, and usually secure. Moreover, they are the “healthier” option during these trying times because they do not require person-to-person interaction and no exchange of banknotes or coins touched by others. To this effect, more than 25% of the point of sales were through mobile wallets since the beginning of the year. However, according to a Gartner report, the pandemic drove merchants to consider alternative ways of payments to satisfy customer demand, and the same report forecasts that “ by 2024, mobile proximity payment users globally will double to nearly 2 billion, compared to less than 1 billion in 2019.”
More Wearables than Before
Wearables are used for all kinds of purposes, from smartwatches and health and fitness trackers to even mobile payments. Statista predicts that the number of wearables will reach more than one billion by 2022.
While wearables were fancy, novel, and merely vanity items at their dawn, they are increasingly valuable today. For instance, in 2020, researchers at Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago developed a wearable device to monitor COVID-19 symptoms delivering life-saving data. These devices monitor early signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and continue to monitor patients as the illness progresses.
This and other innovations show great potential and convenience for wearables in a variety of fields. Moreover, the users want them. Gartner reported the global spending on wearable devices to total $81.5 billion in 2021, an 18.1% increase from $69 billion in 2020 - specifically because innovators saw an opportunity in lockdowns and people’s interest in personal health and wellbeing.
Mobile commerce or mCommerce is one of the strongest trends of the year. Statista predicts that mCommerce sales will reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, 22.3% more than the previous year. Many experts consider this trend a “wave of the future” for shopping - especially with lockdowns or social distancing rules in place because of the pandemic that doesn’t seem to disappear soon.
But mCommerce is also fast, secure, and convenient for shoppers. Solutions like “scan-and-go” with QR codes and otherwise have been around for a while. Still, they increased in the past couple of years when merchants found innovative ways to satisfy consumers during the coronavirus epidemy. To put things in perspective: Statista already predicted that in 2021, 72.9% of all retail eCommerce is due to mCommerce. By the end of the year, this number is likely to increase because the global pandemic forced people to avoid direct purchases and use alternative shopping methods.
Mobile technology is the way of the future, and all these trends are not fads: they are here to stay for a while and shape the way we do business from now on. Moreover, some of these trends are likely to evolve into something better, simpler, and more convenient.