Mobile experience management: The next big market?

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We’ve witnessed the emerging trend of vendors refocusing towards customer experience management and the growth of consumer mobile ownership and engagement, so it was really only a matter of time before we saw a marrying of the two.

According to new predictions from Forrester, a new mobile engagement market is set to reach $32.4bn by 2018 as brands increasingly focus on building and delivering an excellent mobile experience.

Businesses so far may have considered themselves ‘mobile ready’ with perhaps the creation of an app but versions two, three, and four will see the app become the new face of systems of engagement, explained analyst Ted Schadler.

“Fulfilling this mission – and reaping the benefits of a close service connection to your customers and employees – means solving a much bigger problem than shrinking down your website or screen-scraping your SAP system. It means serving customers and employees whose minds have shifted to expect anything, anywhere, at any time.  If version one of the app cost $250,000, it’s not unusual for version two to cost $2m. 

“You’ll spend that money deciphering what your customers really want to do on the mobile devices then building dramatically simplified mobile experiences on complex systems of engagement. You’ll also re-engineer your core processes, systems, and products to help people in their ‘mobile moments’,” he said.

According to Schadler, this new $32.4bn market is comprised of three kinds of services:

  1. Mobile engagement services: This includes the complex services for building a full system of engagement: ethnographic research, experience design, mobile strategy, business process re-engineering, redesigning middleware, analytics, system consolidation, and upgrades to back-end services. Cloud delivery, third-party services, and platform operations are not included.
  2. Mobile device and app management services: This includes the per-device fees for managing devices and the apps that run on them: mobile device management and mobile app management. It could include the setup and management of a corporate app store to manage app and policy updates. It does not include monthly telecom or wireless broadband expenses.
  3. Mobile app development services: This includes developing and maintaining native and hybrid apps for smartphones and tablets as well as mobile websites, including responsive design. It also includes using existing APIs to provide connections to the back-end systems. It does not include experience design.

Forrester may be one of the first to forecast this new category of vendors but mobile experience is very much a topic of the moment. Gartner's Jim Glazder recently spoke of retailers' need to better their customers' mobile experiences and integrate alongside the traditional in-store experience if they are survive in the evolving omnichannel world. 

“A poor mobile experience can also undermine the brand relationship,” he said. “The consumerisation of IT is changing the way consumers interact, obtain information and purchase items. Mobile is becoming a natural extension to us and so the likelihood of consumers having and using their mobile within the store is high. Retailers need to find a way to interact with users via mobile whilst the consumers are still in the store.”

However, ForeSee's latest mobile shopping report showed that the gap between traditional and mobile retail experiences is closing with mobile ranking just two points lower than the in-store experience. 

About Natalie Steers

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