By Brenda Kimuyu, Guest Contributor
Mobile technology has become very popular around the world in recent years. According to Statista, a leading statistics company on the Internet, the number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 1.5 billion in 2014 to around 2.5 billion in 2019, with smartphone penetration rates increasing as well.
Just over 36 percent of the world’s population is projected to use a smartphone by 2018, up from about 10 percent in 2011. This in turn has affected mobile technology in business.
Many companies and business owners, have heavily incorporated the use of mobile phones as part of their business strategy. Gone are the days when the bosses or the most important persons in the company were the only ones who owned owned a cellular phone. This has been influenced majorly with the fact that,most people nowadays own a mobile phone.
Companies and entrepreneurs are heavily investing in mobile technology because of several reasons;
- Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing has made it easier to communicate to customers through texts , social media or even just calling them. This has created effective marketing medium. Mobile has brought businesses closer to customers in many ways. Nowadays it is so easy to just look up something over the Internet, buy and pay for it while at home. At the same time, networking applications that target a user’s location can be a big boost for local businesses when it comes to sending out sales information and spreading the word.
- Mobile Payments
Gone are the days when one had to transact every business in person. It’s so easy to transfer money through the bank to one’s mobile phone. It’s even easier to pay for anything especially in Kenya. M-Pesa being on the forefront, has made it easier for many Kenyans to transact payments through mobile money. M-Pesa allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services ( Lipa Na M-Pesa ) easily with a mobile device.
- Improved Communication
With the emergence of mobile technology, communication has improved drastically. It is easy to manage employees and customers. Applications like Whatsapp have made it even easier to keep in touch by forming internal company groups or communicating with potential clients. Or through calling or texting a specific client or employee makes it easier for organizational purposes. This in turn has or even It given individuals the ability to communicate quickly and find arising solutions to business situations.
- Growth and Flexibility
Companies using mobile technologies such as Whatsapp or mobile money payment services indicate faster growth as compared to those that don’t. While tools such as PayPal and Google Drive have reduced the amount of time it takes businesses to go international. And all this can be accessible through mobile phones. The fact that this services are easily accessible, this has made it flexible for users to make transactions, meet clientele’s needs easily and find quick solutions.
Mobile technology has indeed made it easy for many businesses and is now more important than ever. A report by the investment database CB Insights found that it used to cost £3.3 million to launch a small business in 2000. By 2011, that figure was £3,200.
Africa is recorded to have an increasing number of mobile phone users in the world and with this, some and most social gaps have been filled, making communication more convenient than it used to be. This is a clear indication how beneficial mobile technology is to any business, especially in Africa and how more people in businesses need and want technology on their phones or tablets to help them complete business related tasks on-the-go.