By Max Clarke

Research published yesterday about the looming problem of ‘smartphone addiction’ revealed a number of growing trends. Use of the devices, wrote the Government’s media regulators, Ofcom, was responsible for the ever blurring lines between work and play.

Their use has crept into every facet of life, from the dining table to the toilet.

But while many commentators in the media focussed on the antisocial aspects of increased smartphone use, the trend also offers an exciting opportunity for business which, as yet, remains largely underexploited.

Whilst many larger retailers have their own apps, retailers as a whole remain unprepared for the technology, potentially wasting millions in custom across the UK, as David Eads, Kony Vice President, discusses.

"This so called 'smartphone addiction' comes as no surprise - you just have you look around to see how many people are tethered to their devices. What is surprising is the lack of preparedness by businesses, particularly retailers, to truly capitalise on this lucrative opportunity.

"There is a huge discrepancy between business strategies and consumer preferences when it comes to mobile commerce, and as a result, new revenue streams are simply being ignored. With just 16 percent of retailers having a full mobile commerce strategy in place, the majority of retailers unfortunately need to rethink their strategies fast — and surveys such as this serve to increase the urgency. Unfortunately, this sudden realisation has lead to something of a mobile gold-rush, with many businesses clambering to claim a mobile presence as quickly as they can.

"With the sheer number of apps currently swelling the marketplace, and the ongoing platform battles further fragmenting the market, it is absolutely critical for businesses to differentiate themselves. The only way to do this is to develop a targeted, multi-platform mobile strategy that takes individual consumer preferences into account, whether that be native apps, mobile web, HTML5 or traditional SMS technology.

"With mobile becoming so integral to daily life, smartphone users take time and effort to choose their device. As such, any mobile offering should be developed with the same concern. A device-aware, future-proofed approach that takes advantage of the native features on any device will ensure that businesses consistently meet customer demand and stay ahead of the curve."


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