In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, businesses all over the world made a rush to the internet in order to establish an online presence ahead of their competitors. Today, no serious business is without a website and some form of an online presence. But it’s happening again—in the mobile internet space.
Just as early adopters who flocked online in the late 90’s were able to gain a significant advantage over slower moving competitors, business owners who get serious about mobile marketing and mobile presence now, will gain a significant advantage over the competition.
In the mobile internet space, one of the hottest niches right now is the mobile payments industry. Experts expect mobile internet usage to actually overtake desktop internet usage in the next two years. This transition will have far-reaching consequences for business owners because consumers are not only surfing the web on their mobile devices—they are purchasing goods and services on their mobile devices at a rapid rate.
Garnter Research estimates that global mobile payments transaction values will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012, which is a 61.9% increase from the 2011 figure. Further, KMPG estimates that global mobile payments will grow 97% per year over the next three years- reaching a value of over $1 trillion dollars by 2015.
These figures are staggering, and the race is on for both merchant account providers and small businesses. Small businesses need to take steps now to optimize their websites and customer shopping experiences for mobile devices. Most businesses that have adopted the internet age have done well in optimizing their websites for online sales. Now, the same must be done for mobile browsing. This can be done easily for websites operating on advanced templates, such as WordPress. However, if one’s website is not able to be optimized for mobile browsing easily, then one ought to consider upgrading one’s site immediately.
The Race to Capture Market Share
For merchant account providers, the race is on to capture as much market share as possible. This is good news for business owners. Healthy competition will generally drive down prices as competitors seek to undercut each other. Not only are the established merchant account providers making the transition to mobile, but there are also dozens of hot start-ups, such as Square, which are disrupting the mobile payments industry, for example, Square. Square allows small businesses to buy an inexpensive piece of hardware, plug it into their smartphone, and immediately accept mobile payments. This is a fantastic option for small businesses that do not want to incur the inevitable large up-front expenses that come with setting up a new point of sale system.
The explosion in mobile internet usage and mobile payments industry is not a fad. It is here to stay, and business owners ought to act quickly in order to build their own mobile presence.