Mobile Opinion

Top 10 Mobile trends of 2017 every business leader should pay attention to

By 2020, more than 70% of the planet’s population will own a smartphone. This alone is the biggest indication of the fact that we are moving towards a mobile only world. To be future ready, it is not enough for business leaders to integrate mobile into their business strategies, rather they have to look at their strategies through the lens of mobile.Here are top 10 mobile trends of 2017 which businesses should make a note of and devise strategies around them now, to be ready for the next era of the digital revolution: the Mobile-Only era.

Consumers have shifted to mobile, what about brands?

“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything.”
– Matt Galligan, Co-founder of Circa

By the end of 2022, 6.8 Billion people will own a smartphone. As mobile increasingly becomes an integral part of people’s lives, businesses have a huge opportunity to tap on.

Smartphone Subscriptions by Technology


However, enterprises are still not exploiting the potential of the mobile medium to the fullest.

According to an Adobe survey, 80% of brands do not have a clear-cut mobile marketing strategy for their audiences, and according to Forrester, just 18% of the companies think mobile devices can be a catalyst for transforming their business.

For businesses, which have not jumped on the mobile bandwagon yet, this is the right time to do so. Having an effective mobile strategy will make sure that the upcoming digital natives are engaging with their businesses and also give them an edge over the competitors.

Mobile is millenials’ new buddy: mobile app engagement is getting a boost.

“In today’s modern world, people are either asleep or connected.”
-Janice H. Reinold, Rosetta Marketing

In the US, 92% of 18 to 29-year-olds own a smartphone. Across the globe users are spending most of their digital media time on mobile, more so on mobile apps.

Mobile users are spending more than 3 hours per day on mobile, launching apps more than 60 times a day and accessing 30 apps on a monthly basis.



What it might mean for businesses is to consider a mobile app platform and leveraging social media for driving user engagement and also generating leads. However, businesses should keep in mind that as with any product, your app must provide value by resolving an issue a consumer may have, or fulfilling a “want” in customers that makes some aspect of their lives easier or more manageable.

Here are some tips from Ted Sergott, EVP, Product Development at ProUnlimited on creating 5-star mobile apps, that users love.

  • Understand the needs of the customer
  • Product vision should be able to clearly articulate the MVP that will attract most users and drive engagement
  • The app must have a logical roadmap which is based on analytics and market research
  • Think about the 80/20 rule (80% of the customers use 20% of the features, so find out what they are and make them robust)
  • The app should be modular: you should be easily able to unplug non-performing features and refine/fix them based on analytical data.

Mobile Apps or Mobile website – where should the bucks lie?

“In 2020, there will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web is less important and useful than in the past and apps are the dominant factor in people’s lives.”
– PewResearch Internet Project

Last year, over 90 billion apps were downloaded on the iOS App Store and Google Play, and nearly 900 billion hours in were spent on apps. According to a study, 85% of mobile users prefer native mobile apps vs. mobile sites.

Users love their apps and are devoting more and more time on them.

Smartphone users spend 89% of their mobile time on mobile apps. By 2021, the number of apps downloaded across categories will go up by approximately 57%.

Utilities and Tools (Google, Safari, etc.) are the most used apps followed by social networking apps.



Users are downloading apps for a number of reasons, primary being – to solve a problem, (utility apps, messaging apps), out of boredom (games & entertainment apps, social media apps, etc.), the earlier app didn’t do the job well, peer recommendations, etc.

So, the verdict is clear; while creating a mobile experience for today’s mobile addicted generation, mobile apps are a must. However, creating a mobile app is not enough there is more to this story.

Mobile users download apps fast and abandon them faster

“The future of mobile and specifically mobile marketing is creating solutions that customers actually want and need.”
– Greg Hickman, Author at Mobile Marketing Engine

While the above stats might look promising and good enough to dive into mobile app development right away, there are few statistics which bring forward a different picture.

  • Half of U.S. smartphone users download zero apps per month.
  • Only 36% of apps are retained after one month and only 11% for a year.
  • 77% of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing.
  • The ‘average app loses 77% of its DAUs within the first three days after the install. Within 30 days, it’s lost 90% of DAUs.



Developing a mobile app can be easy, but developing one which users love needs a lot more hard work and a systematic approach.

Some of the top reasons why users abandon or delete their apps are –

a. Large size
b. Complicated UI
c. Too many ads
d. Battery consumption
e. Too many push notifications, etc.

For enterprises looking to build a mobile app for their users, taking into account the above points and addressing them at an earlier stage will go a long way.

Another critical step towards creating a successful mobile app is choosing the right mobile app development partner.

Download our free white paper on 6 intelligent tips on how to choose the perfect mobile app development partner.

Advertisers are betting big on mobile

“If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry — your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.”
– Jamie Turner, Founder of 60SecondMarketer

Owing to the significant amount of attention users bestow on mobile devices, it is evident that publishers would want to put their monies where their customers are. According to a recent IAB report, digital ad revenue grew to $72.5 billion in 2016. As a result of the confidence shown by advertisers on the mobile medium, more than half of these spends were on mobile ads.



The lion’s share of these monies was spent on Google’s ad network followed by Facebook. According to a study, on Facebook, desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates, and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads.

While online advertising is growing, advertisers have to be cautious of the pervasive growth of fraudulent ads, where fraudsters are selling non-existent ad spaces to them. It is estimated that ad frauds or ad spoofing will cost companies around the globe $16.4 billion this year. However, corporations like Google, Oath and PubMatic are actively fighting against ad fraud. One of the initiatives they have started in this direction is ads.txt (a text file where publishers list approved publishers).

It is understandable, why the overall spend on mobile advertising is gaining traction among brands. The boom in mobile advertising is a win-win for both advertisers and publishers. For brands, mobile offers a tremendous opportunity for engagement, and for publishers, it opens up doors to earn ad revenues.

Businesses must invest in a clear cut mobile marketing strategy to reap the benefits of this burgeoning trend.

Video content is leading the way for mobile traffic

“Mobile is a lot closer to TV than it is to desktop.”
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

According to a report, 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. One-third of online activity is spent watching videos, and over half of video content that gets viewed is on mobile.

In next five years, mobile video will account for 75% of the mobile traffic.

Marketers worldwide recognise audiences’ love for videos and are creating content to address this trend. 87% of mobile marketers are using videos to connect with their audiences.



The growing acceptance of video content and technologies like AR/VR, 360-degree videos, live videos, etc. are opening up vistas of opportunities for the entire OTT ecosystem including publishers, advertisers and distributors.

Brands must engage with their audiences through video content to drive better user engagement.

Mobile gaming – and the use of gamification across industries

“What people will still pay for is how content makes them feel. They pay for progress. They pay to stand out. To fit in. To give. To win.”
-Nicholas Lovell, Consultant on new business models

With 2.2 billion gamers across the globe, the global gaming market is expected to reach $108.9 billion in 2017, and mobile gaming will contribute $46.1 billion to this number.



Gaming apps are one of the fastest growing app categories. Other industries are leveraging users’ affection for gaming as a category and industries like healthcare, education, enterprise, etc. are increasingly using principals of gamification to drive user engagement.

Enterprises can look at gamification as a retention mechanism by plugging in rewards for users on achieving goals. Gaming apps also present an opportunity to reach out to the consumers through in-app advertising. However, they have to be seamlessly integrated into the platform so as to not interrupt the user experience.

You may also like to read – 10 commandments of gamification.

Mobile Payments – leading the way for a cashless society

“Within five years, half of today’s smartphone users will be using their phones and mobile wallets as their preferred method for payments.”
– Peter Olynick (said in 2012). Card & Payments Practice leader,Carlisle & Gallagher.

In the increasingly mobile dependent world, cash is getting replaced by plastic and virtual money like credit cards, debit cards, ACH payments, PayPal, P2P apps like Venmo, Apple Pay, mobile payments tools like Square, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and countrywide programs like Kenya’s mPesa and India’s Paytm.

The global mobile wallet industry is set to grow by 35% CAGR by 2021. Countries like India and China will lead this growth. In India, the mobile wallet market is expected to jump by a whopping 190%.

Needless to say, the increasing use of mobile data is one of the biggest contributors to this phenomenon.



Businesses must include mobile payments in their digital makeover plans. Mobile wallets not only make transactions hassle free, but it can also help in creating customised rewards for shoppers and also upselling to them through in-app mobile purchases.

Enterprise mobile apps – to raise the bar

“In Enterprise Software, customer expectations are mirroring those of consumer apps.”
-KPCB Internet Trends Report, 2017

Enterprise apps are hardly known for a delightful user-experience. But this trend is changing in the right direction with changing consumer expectations.

Innovative consumer apps have acclimated users to expect delightful experiences from mobile apps across categories. In the enterprise environment too, they want a reliable, easy to use, well-designed app.



Enterprise apps will have to raise the bar to match today’s consumer expectations. It’s clear that enterprises will have to look at app development from the end user’s perspective and deliver an easy to use and personalised experience to retain engagement.

Sergott, a SaaS and Cloud expert, outlined what it takes to create a successful B2B app in a webinar, How To Build a 5-Star Mobile App.

Rise of Mobile apps in retail

“Users prefer native mobile apps over mobile sites because of the user experience, the loading speed, as well as the fact that apps offer frictionless shopping by remembering passwords and storing payment options”
-Nikunj Sanghvi, Head of U.S. sales & business development, Robosoft Technologies

According to App Annie, the global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021. The primary drivers of this growth are – all mobile app stores, in-app advertising and mobile commerce. Mobile commerce will be the largest contributor and will grow at a 39% CAGR.


Source: App Annie

Consumers love to use retail apps. According to a survey,

  • 71% of those who have used retail apps said that they enjoy shopping using mobile apps.
  • 57% of them said they shop using mobile apps regularly.
  • 72% think that mobile apps make shopping easier.
  • 46%said that they are more likely to shop using mobile apps than they are to shop online.

Major retailers across the globe have acknowledged this trend, and are coming up with innovative ways to provide an in-store experience to their users by using AR/VR, location based offers, chat bots, etc.

As stated in the latest Internet Trends Report, mediocre retail experiences are dead, and retailers must aim at providing an omnichannel experience to their customers.

In the next article of this series, we will cover ‘Mobile trends that retailers must take note of.’ Stay tuned.

In conclusion:

“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished”
– Wendy Clark, Coca Cola

The mobile first era is transforming into the mobile only era faster than we realise. Going by the projection of app economy by the year 2021, if app economy were a nation state, it would be the third largest in the world today.

For enterprises across sectors, it has become essential to look at their business strategies from the lens of mobile. Today’s digitally savvy consumer is spoilt for choice and mobile is their preference. To stay relevant businesses must reach out to their customers in their preferred environment and the above trends suggest, mobile certainly is that.

Surabhi Ghosh Chatterjee
Surabhi Ghosh Chatterjee is our soft spoken Marketing Communications Manager with an extensive experience in B2B marketing in the tech domain.

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