The Rise of the Mobile Internet

mobile-marketing-getting-started-1024x768You only have to look around you on the train to see that the Internet is rapidly going mobile. For every person reading a book or a newspaper there is another reading on a Kindle or gaming on a mobile phone. We now increasingly consume content via mobile devices: We are also starting to spend our money on them.

Here we look at the rise of mobile web surfing and what it means to employment opportunities in the near future. With the big players racing to stay ahead of innovative upstarts, the future of the mobile Internet is as yet undecided. Whatever the outcome it pays to be on top of the latest developments.

As an example of the shift to mobile, Instagram launched as an app in 2010 but has only recently released a browser-based website. Web designers may still be using the PC to create news online apps and websites, but their designs are now optimized for the touchscreen. Market research company NDP reported recently that 37% of UK consumers are using their mobile devices to surf the Internet. The figure is rising fast!

Britain and the West are in many ways behind the rest of the world when it comes to the mobile Internet, according to Digital Strategy Consulting. In most developing countries the first widely available Internet was the mobile version. Consequently much of the innovation in mobile payment systems has come from countries such as Kenya with its M-PESA mobile micro payments system. Business Insider reports that China already has more mobile Internet surfers than broadband users.

So is the mobile Internet the future of online commerce and customer relationship management?

Not everybody agrees that the mobile Internet is poised to take over. Vibhu Norby of Philosophically argues that while the browser-based Internet is a mature ecosystem, the app-based mobile world is new and buggy and controlled by a small number of big companies (Apple and Google). However, as Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures states, “if you don’t design your products and services for what is rapidly becoming the dominant UI, you will not maximize the success of your business in the long run”.

The migration to mobile has huge consequences for almost every industry and job seeker in Britain. The music and publishing industries act as a warning for any company that ignores the mobile paradigm shift. The Internet turned these sectors upside down while the incumbents, such as Barnes & Noble and HMV, buried their heads in the sand.

Today’s tech giants are determined not to be left behind. Google is betting big that near field technology (NFT) will replace card payments within a few years, while retailers such as Starbucks are already signing up to mobile payment systems such as Square. Almost all new websites are optimized for different mobile screen sizes and touchscreen technology.

Companies that anticipate the rise of mobile browsing and m-commerce stand to gain from the paradigm shift. Retailers are racing to provide product information and local discounts to shoppers via mobile apps. An effective mobile strategy gives companies direct access to their customers’ pockets and their wallets.

For the job seeker, a working knowledge of the mobile Internet is essential. Candidates that show an in-depth understanding of how m-commerce will affect their sector are at an advantage during job interviews. If you don’t know your NFT from your MPS, then it is time to get on the mobile Internet and do your research.

Looking for specific information about how the mobile Internet affects your industry. Contact Alan Furley at alan@isluk.co.uk or Henry Keeys at henry@isluk.co.uk today and we can advise you on job opportunities within this sector or help you find the right candidate to take your company forward.

Information Technology