2016: Mobile Web Ramps Up

Peek into 2016: Mobile Web Ramps Up

Dan Engel Commentary

As 2015 fast fades away in the rearview mirror and new baby 2016 enters the world kicking and screaming, now is the perfect time for gazing deeply into the crystal ball and uttering predictions, prognostications and other psychic prophesies – among other topics, about the mobile web.

But of course, the best futurology unites data extrapolation with deep insight, like the kind Hilary Milnes offers in her “Where Mobile Commerce Is Going in 2016” at Digiday.

Milnes points out what should be readily apparent to most astute observers: 2016 will see mobile steadily wrap its powerful tentacles around online commerce and swallow it whole.

No surprises there. But here’s where Milne makes an even more powerful point: 2016 will also be the year when mobile web starts its slow inevitable vanquishing of the mobile app. She writes:

“Only the leaders with the biggest reach, like Target, Amazon and Walmart, have been able to get enough regular usage on their mobile apps in order to outpace their traffic and purchases on the mobile web.”

Yes! In the competing channels of customer engagement, apps may offer great interactivity and functionality, but the mobile web delivers easier access across all platforms and devices. And unless you are a one-stop shop for most everything in the world, like Amazon or Walmart, then your app is likely to soon be buried and forgotten.

Given the mobile web’s predicted dominance, Milnes highlights efforts to optimize its capabilities, in particular mobile checkout. But we shouldn’t stop there, nor does Google. Unlike apps, the mobile web has yet to take advantage of the full functionality of smartphones, such as push notifications, GPS, compass, accelerometer and other sensors and multimedia, etc. Google and others have initiated projects designed to ramp up the mobile web’s capacity to match the functionality of apps without the limits on their accessibility.

Now, that’s a bright and beautiful future I can’t wait for!

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