++5 key trends to look out for in 2015++
- Phablets (phones with a large screen) will become even more popular. The larger screen is as a result of our evolving use of smartphones, we have increased our data usage massively and as a result smartphones have been created with larger screens to facilitate browsing and reading.This shift can be seen clearly in Cisco’s report on mobile data traffic in which it was found “Average smartphone usage grew 45 percent in 2014.” This will contribute to making internet browsing and mobile payments more popular as the larger screens will make usage more comfortable for users. This will impact negatively on tablet sales but people will remain fond of the laptop and desk top as we tend to like more robust devices for work. This shift to phablet can be seen in the design progression of the smartphone market leader Apple. The iPhone 6 plus is the biggest iPhone produced to date and continues the trend set by the iPhone 6 which was bigger than its predecessor the 5s.
- Consumers will continue to shop around – this will include substantial online searches for products or services. As Silicon Republic mentioned in December the Second UPC Report on Ireland’s Digital Future Irish people spent €6bn online in 2014 but only €1.1 bn was spent on Irish goods and services. These figures show Irish Business there is much room for improvement and we predict action will be taken to improve and increase their online presence in the face of international competition. This bodes well for the consumer with more choices available on where to shop and how to pay.In the Independent.ie Google VP Ronan Harris is quoted as saying:
“About one-third of businesses that go online for the first time get new export customers in the first six months through online channels.”
This certainly makes for interesting reading and shows the opportunities that presently exist for Irish business.
- We have to agree with Nilson Group’s report, which predicts the increased use of credit & debit cards as well as growth in electronic payments. With contactless payments becoming more widespread for low value transactions due to its speed and convenience credit and debit card usage will become more prevalent for small purchases. The National Payments Plan which aims at cutting down cash and cheque usage coupled with the the increase in mobile payments will see these methods of payments continuing to grow.
- Wearables – the jury is still out on this one. Are there enough practical applications for the average Joe to invest in what are, as a general rule, quite expensive technologies? One thing is for certain – the debate as to the merits and demerits of this genre of technology will rage on. With so many practical applications, particularly in the area of health and fitness it is really a question of when and not if wearables will take off. Sales of wearables will certainly increase but the magnitude of this increase remains to be seen.
- Consumer driven change – never have there been so many different avenues for the individual to contact companies, as a result the consumers’ voice has never been so loud. This can be hugely beneficial to both company and individual as it helps companies identify the needs and wants of the consumer and adjust their product or processes where appropriate to align themselves with what consumers want.