In 2012, businesses saw about a 400% jump in mobile solutions. Mobile was the name of the game in 2012, but what about 2013? Trendcasters predict these 6 items will be big in business for the upcoming year.
1. Location-Based Social Gifting
Move over FourSquare. In 2013, businesses won’t just benefit from the attention they get with FourSquare check-ins, they’ll actually be cashing in on them. Take mobile app Slingr for example, which having just launched about six months ago is already paving the way by allowing check-ins to be more rewarding than in just digital points. Users who check in at restaurants or pubs can have friends buy them a drink remotely. The end result is a friend and user, both of whom feel valued through the connection, and of course the establishment that transacted a sale from someone that wasn’t even in the building.
2. Better Data Mining
Social platforms have aced the ability to data mine, and there have been some advances in allowing users to do the same. Still, any standard social platform users across the top three sites (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) simply cannot mine their own data or sift through thousands of uploads the way administrators can. Expect to see changes in this sector next year as users begin demanding more customized schematics from their favorite channels.
3. The Shifting Workplace
Blame it on the economy, poor business tax breaks, the rising cost of gas, technology updates or an increased demand in personal autonomy. Either way, you’ll see greater acceptance of freelance/contract workers, while more brick and mortar businesses will be open to allowing employees to work from home one day a week. Many establishments are already shifting in this direction, but by 2013 it will become an acceptable norm.
And no, we don’t mean Call of Duty or World of Warcraft. We mean more e-commerce businesses (or e-tailers) will adopt game-based strategies to fatten profit margins. Makeup giant Sephora already started doing this with a roulette inspired promotion that allowed shoppers to literally spin a digital wheel and see what free gift the pin landed upon. The method is fun and creates a feeling of exclusivity and limited availability, which always inspires a sale.
5. Education Revolution
The Chicago teacher’s strike drew attention to education, a momentum added onto by the film Won’t Back Down. Thought it’s really about changing how kids learn, a mega move in a multibillion dollar industry that all related businesses should be paying attention to. Presently, a very small minority of counties have begun implementing creative and tech-based learning systems; expect this rate to jump in 2013.
6. Mobile Gets Bigger
Expect just about every business to start accepting mobile payments. Remote retail locations have already picked up on the tool, but expect even the most unexpected to get on board with a new way of doing business. During the last cab ride I took a week ago, the cabbie and I were chatting about the Square. He was going to get on board early next year, concluding he could instantly charge and get tips, charge tips alone (since who really carries cash anymore), and above all would have access to an automatic database of his clients without having to dig through a pile of old records. If the local cabbie is cashing in on mobile, you better make sure you’re able to as well. This includes investing in site optimization services to make your website mobile-friendly.