Almost everyone knows this situation: Forgot to charge the smartphone on the evening before and on morning after the battery is completely dead. Because you are in a hurry to go to work you forgot where you put the charging cable, too and so you compulsory have to go with dead battery. Wireless Charging possibilities like Qi – Wireless Charging provides a remedy.
Charge Smartphone and Tablet without cable cutter
The Wireless Charging of smartphones and tablets was one of the main topics at the Mobile World Congress last week in Barcelona. One of the biggest and technical most developed providers is The Wireless Power Consortium with the Qi-Charge Standard. Thereby the cable cutter could have an end very soon.
The Qi-Wireless Charging Standard transmits power from sender to recipient via induction. The principle of induction is known from stoves and electric toothbrushes. It uses a resonant inductive coupling between sender (base station) and recipient (smartphone or tablet). During the charging the base station and smartphone or tablet stay constantly connected and automatically switch to stand- by modus as soon as the mobile device is full charged. Qi – Wireless Changing is used by more than 80 companies worldwide. Lately, IKEA is aboard, too. Therefore IKEA especially designed some pieces of furniture, which are furnished with Qi modules and simplify the charging of mobile devices. The annoying charging of smartphone and tablet via charging cable may very soon come to an end and the living areas will be more nice without the cable cutter on the floor or furniture’s, too.
Therefore IKEA designs lamps, tables and other shelf spaces, which are furnished with Qi modules. All the wireless charging is a smartphone with Qi module. About 80 models, such as the Windows Phone series and Google Nexus devices are equipped with the charging standard. For all those, who own a Samsung or iPhone, IKEA offers a special charging shell, which can be plugged into the Micro USB or Lightning port. All of the wireless charge stations have an USB port wherefore several devices can be charged. The prices are moderate. For a table lamp with wireless charging you have to pay 59, 00€, for a floor lamp 99, 00€ and coffee tables for 49, 00€ and 89, 00€. A simple charge station costs 35, 00€, the version for three smartphones or tablets costs 59, 00€. Starting April 15 the Swedish furniture chain IKEA offers the furniture with integrated charge station.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Qi Wireless Charging
Like every technology, the Qi – Wireless Charging also has advantages and disadvantages. In addition of preventing cable cutter and the possibility to charge the smartphone everywhere, Qi is the most frequently applied wireless charging system. It’s already utilized in hotels, restaurants, airports and public venues worldwide. Furthermore, the wireless charging provides longer devices durability because the often plug in of the cable while charging damages the charging socket. With the three times wireless charging system of IKEA you can charge up to three devices at a time, which saves space.
What speaks against the wireless charging is the long charge time. Because the effectiveness of inductive transmission is less efficient than a normal charging cable, charging of smartphone and tablet need essential longer time. The power consumption is also higher by wireless charging. Furthermore, Qi is not the only provider of wireless charging systems. Competitors like Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the wireless charging system “Rezence” of Alliance Wireless Power which also provide wireless charging technology, want to merge. It’s a fight for market leadership and it remains to be seen, which provider will prevail. In fact, there are much more Qi-devices than possibilities of inductive from other providers at the moment.
Future of Wireless Charging
Wireless charging systems like Qi, if they can establish themselves on the market, promise a golden future for mobile marketing. For example, there are some branches of McDonalds in Europe, which are equipped with Qi – Wirelesss Charging technology and enable their customers to charge their smartphone via Qi. In future, customers could order and pay their food and drinks comfortable at the table. Wireless charging is also a win-win situation for traders and customers in question of locality. Thus, supermarkets around the corner or little cafés within walking distance, where people spend their lunchtime, could be equipped with Qi. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could charge your smartphone at the table while eating lunch? Similar the technology could be employed at public venues like sport stadiums or shopping malls. However, who likes to carry their charging cable for different mobile devices around? Moreover, customers could stay longer on a particular location and thereby they eventually consume more.
Really revolutionary battery technologies still take a longer time. Frequently charging in between isn’t spared yet but with Qi – Wireless Charging it is simplified. Wherever, at home, at the workplace, in the shopping center or restaurant: The potential for Qi – Wireless Charging and other providers of wireless charging is enormous. We’ll have to wait and see which provider will prevail. For now, Qi – Wireless Charging is leading.
Mobile shopping as a part of mobile marketing is one of the trend topics in 2015. Despite the high potential it seems that online retailers don’t realize the importance of user-friendly mobile online shops. Withal it’s not so difficult and sophisticated to create a mobile-friendly online shop for customers.
26% of all Online Sales are made on Mobile
According to a survey of Criteo, a technology company for performance marketing, 30 % of the online sales in 2014 were done via tablet or smartphone, anyway 26 % in Germany. However, pioneers in the matter of mobile shopping are the Asian countries, first of all Japan, where half of the online transactions are made on tablet or smartphone.
Shopping Fun instead of Customer Frustration
The sales in the stationary trade are increasingly regressing. Big online shops and retailers like Zalando or Amazon make comfortable shopping via smartphone and tablet tempting for potential customers. The time has already come for a rethink of other small online shops. So they have to understand and implement the necessity of a mobile optimized online shop. Otherwise they stand to lose their customers. The optimization of customer experience for mobile shops presents online retailers with a real challenge. Basic reasons therefore are the enormous variety of devices, the various sizes and aspect ratios of smartphone and tablet screens. Where there’s a will there’s a way. In just a few steps the mobile shop can activate shopping fun instead of customer frustration.
So the Online Shop becomes mobile-friendly
In general a thumb and eye-friendliness is necessary for mobile optimized online shops. If the potential customers can decode the miniature font just with great difficulty, that customers will unlikely get to the transaction. Therefore font sizes and button sizes should be taken under consideration. Beyond that responsive design should be a standard for mobile optimized online shops. Customers finally like shopping in a good quality on all devices. Beyond that decisive for the transaction is the navigation. So the mobile shop should be clearly understandable and ensure an intuitive usability. A structured clear navigation, which keeps the click path as low as possible, is an advantage, too.
Matching and appealing images, which don’t take long loading times and help users to find themselves, belongs to a mobile optimized online shop, too. As far as the texts are concerned only short and luscious teaser texts should be used in order not to deter users or potential customers. Really important: Give sales impulses! A targeted call to action is essential for a mobile shop.
A registration for users should be voluntary. Otherwise, if the registration takes too long, it will be the last time that they visited the shop. Nevertheless if a registration is still necessary users should only provide essential data. Also the data safety is an important issue for users. Quality seals like Trusted Shops create trust with buyers.
There’s still a lot to do for online retailers. Anyway they have to offer their customers mobile solutions, which are optimized for mobile devices of all sorts. If responsive design or a single mobile website will be the future for online shops, remains to be seen.
Especially for shops with complex, image heavy elements, categories and content, the change to responsive design can be an absolute gain. The same is true for responsive design: You can use it but don’t have to. In the matter of responsive design the journey for shop retailers has yet started. However, it seems to be a loom from e-commerce to m-commerce.
The year 2014 was trendsetting in the respect of marketing. Wheather beacons, wearables or content marketing: The trends were characterized by user friendliness and improvement of quality of life. How about 2015? So much for it: The trend goes from mobile first to mobile only.
1. Mobile Only instead of Mobile First
The year 2015 is just a few weeks old but as already announced one of the most important online marketing trends in 2015 is called mobile only instead of mobile first. Therefore it’s not enough anymore that companies, marketers and advertisers attempt for a mobile website after a desktop version. Nowadays Internet users are constantly available and almost networked. That craves that companies and advertisers react and focus on mobile devices because they have developed from second to first screen. This is verified by the U.S. Mobile App Report of ComScore according to which 60 percent of the overall internet usage comes from mobile devices whereby in Germany the study of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF) for the third quarter of 2014 verifies, that 48,7 percent of the Internet users comes from mobile devices. That underpins the fact that stationary devices slowly but steadily have had its day. The future of marketing lies in mobile optimization.
2. Mobile Shopping
Another trend, which marketers and companies should use, is the increased use of mobile shopping. That’s a logical consequence of the increased steadily usage of mobile devices. Like this smartphone, tablet and co. are not only used for entertainment and communication but also loom large online shopping. That is verified by the results of the ECC Konjunkturindex Shopper too, after what 30 percent of the interviewed people shop via smartphone whereas four of ten interviewed people use their tablet to shop. Also interesting for companies: 20 percent of the online shopper mainly buy via smartphone, when they are outside and just 11 percent from home. These facts and figures are not only interesting for marketing but also for the area of local search.
In the context of mobile shopping the meaning of mobile local search also grows. Companies and retailers, which also want to achieve a good ranking in the mobile search, have to adjust their content and performance to the requirements of mobile search. Good that Google react to the grown meaning of mobile search and announces that they will indicate mobile friendly websites in the organic search. As part of mobile only instead of mobile first it’s a good approach.
3. Experience-oriented Shopping via In-Store Marketing
Regarding mobile shopping the music identification service Shazam has a say. In November Shazam started the application technology Shazam In-store in cooperation with Mood Media where users have direct access to targeted interactive content of shops and brands without previous search. With this location-based solution of mobile marketing the consumer experience should be enhanced. If a customer is using Shazam, it recognizes a kind of not hearable water mark in the song. The location-based platform “Presence”of Mood Media enables to send local based coupons.
The future of marketing clearly goes to mobile. Companies and marketers now became the moment to bestow an important role in their marketing activities to mobile marketing. If they want to ride on the mobile wave of success they have to be part of it and not an outsider.
The days, where people paid with credit or ec card in stores could be soon a thing of the past because of mobile payment. In the USA e.g. Apple Pay is headed in the right direction. In Germany mobile payments haven’t progressed so far because Germans are careful with new technologies.
For a lot of Germans payment by Smartphone is not an option. The causes that lie behind it, according to an analysis from PwC (Pricewaterhousekeepers) on the issue “Mobile Payment in Deutschland 2020 – Marktpotenzial und Erfolgsfaktoren” from July 2014 are the absence of added value and comfort for the user.
Therefore, a mobile payment system should provide much more than a payment function e.g. useful product information or product recommendations. Furthermore, the registration in a payment application should be very fast and straightforward and should as well correspond to safety standards. In addition a payment application, that features different mobile devices and operating systems needs to be developed. According to the analysis of PwC not only the absence added value and comfort, but also the skepticism of Germans and the few Pay-App providers are the reason why Pay-Apps are hardly used. After the launch of Apple Pay in the USA in September, experts hope for a breakthrough for mobile payment systems with the launch in Germany in 2015.
Apple Pay is growing rapidly
Apples mobile payment system brings hope for a significant breakthrough of mobile payment systems – not only in the USA. Although Apple Pay is only offered in the USA but the launch in Germany is awaited with excitement for the beginning of 2015.
But what is behind it all? Basically Apple Pay is used at the card terminal in the stationary sales (point of sale) but also for online and In-App purchases. Here by payment in stationary sales with ec or credit card should be replaced while users should pay their online or In-App purchases with Apple Pay instead of PayPal. The functionality is very easy. Next to an iPhone 6, 6 plus or an Apple Watch customers have to use an existing credit card, which is connected with the iTunes-Store. Alternative they have to add a new credit card which they have to photograph or scan before. Then the credit card will be integrated into the Passbook-App of the iPhone and defined as a standard payment method. If customers want to pay by Apple Pay they just have to go near the card terminal with their iPhone 6, 6 plus or Apple Watch. After a few seconds the iPhone notices to the NFC-Terminal and demands a fingerprint verification. Alternative to the TouchID it is possible to enter the password. For using Apple Pay there is no need to block the iPhone. Up to now the three big credit card companies MasterCard, Visa and American Express support Apple Pay. Lately SunTrust, Barclaycard, USAA, TD Bank North America and the Commerzbank have been supporting it too.
PayPal under pressure
While Apple’s mobile Payment system is going to be more and more successful the online payment service PayPal is increasingly under pressure. Founded in 1998 as a subsidiary of Ebay, PayPal is meanwhile integrated in a lot of iOS-and Android-Apps. But next to Apple Pay the banks ensure that PayPal gets competitors. So a lot of banks in Germany are joining together to develop their own mobile payment system as an alternative to PayPal. This own mobile payment system is still nameless, but has the abbreviation BV. According to an online-report of the German newspaper “DIE WELT”, the mobile payment system will start at the end of 2015. By then at the latest it might be definitively over with the monopoly position of PayPal.
Mobile Payment and Mobile Marketing
In this context, the question arises, what mobile payment systems means for the future of mobile marketing and why we should use Apple Pay, PayPal and Co. Just as mobile payment systems are underestimated, a rather marginal role is awarded to mobile marketing for mobile payment systems. Regarding to that the chances for mobile Marketing in this area are big, even though the issue of data protection plays an important role. So a lot of data privacy specialists criticize sufficient assurances during the payment by mobile payment systems. However, in the case of anonymous mass data they can be used to generate more and more significant revenue. This so called Data-Based-Marketing for example can help to recognize early trends and to realize an appropriate marketing strategy.
The time has not yet come for mobile payment systems. But if it comes, Apple, PayPal and Co. will be engaged in tough competition. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter for the users. The competition is driving the development of mobile payment systems and ensures that more and more users see the purpose and comfort of these mobile payment systems and trust in it.
 Mobile Payment in Deutschland 2020 – Marktpotenzial und Erfolgsfaktoren (http://www.pwc.de/de/digitale-transformation/assets/pwc-analyse-mobile-payment.pdf)
 DIE WELT http://www.welt.de/finanzen/article135499703/Banken-fordern-Paypal-mit-Bezahldienst-heraus.html, Abruf: 17.12.2014
Since the introduction of Google Glass in April 2012, the development of Wearables is simply inevitable. Wearables such as fitness trackers, smart watches, and glasses are revolutionizing the Internet of Things.
The iBeacon concept is something we could definitely get used to. Imagine entering a store and immediately receiving deals and coupons on your smartphone that might interest you. Apple has been working on the helpful concept of indoor navigation for the past few years. But what is unique about the iBeacon-Technology and what does it mean for the future of shopping? Read more ›
Life is too short to spend time waiting in line at the movies or other ticket booths. Of course, you can buy tickets online, but online providers often lack tickets to events outside of the local vicinity. A helpful tool is the reservation platform Get Your Guide, which allows users to purchase tickets for events anywhere in the world. Read more ›
Hardly any day goes by without searching for something on the computer or cell phone with the help of apps or industry portals such as Gelbe Seiten. But that won’t be the case much longer. Thanks to technical advancements you can even use some apps via smart TVs. In the near future, we’ll probably look for the nearest handyman via TV. If the prognoses are true, 22.9 million homes in Germany will own internet-capable TVs by 2015. Gelbe Seiten and their app, represented by Samsung, are already on the way to smart TV devices.