mobile- tech_0The current crisis context and general collapse in which our society is immersed only stimulates the innovation capacity of companies and their permanent desire to add value to society. The problem is that, more and more frequently, it is not just about innovating, but the company must also make a leap towards things, environments, models that are unknown to it.

We now observe, for example, that what is important no longer seems to be producing, but now it is only a matter of designing the product and selling it. Consumers no longer go shopping, but rather the stores that reach their homes through the Internet. Something as relatively new as email is no longer used to communicate with your team, or with your clients, or with your distributors. People are no longer informed on your website but on social networks. Suddenly, there are brands that do not need to have a product to sell and we all know products from intruders without any brand that invade our market.

It is these shocks that really throw us off balance because it is maddeningly difficult to change the business model. In the way of doing things. Sales channel. Of communication channel. But this is exactly what is happening with mobile technology.

The consumer is already in the mobile channel (63% of mobile phone users in Spain have a Smartphone) and companies must be wherever our customers are. The difficult thing is that nothing is written and everyone must explore their own path, especially at this time when everything or almost everything has yet to be done.

A company, for example, can generate its own applications from which it can interact with its customers by sending them non-intrusive messages, notifying them of news in its catalogues, sending them promotions or helping them locate the nearest store where they can buy a certain product. Companies like Decathlon, IKEA or the Basque one IBILI have developed innovative mobile catalogs with advanced marketing features that accompany the customer in their shopping experience.

But it’s more. Applications have also become a new sales channel. In the midst of the consumer crisis, e-commerce increased 21% in 2012 globally, according to eMarketer. And, in particular, mobile electronic commerce did so by 81% in the US in 2012, already reaching 11% of total electronic commerce. Global companies like Zara or Mango have extraordinary mobile applications that encourage direct purchase without any need to go to the store, not even a computer to consult their websites.

These companies know very well that the applications remain installed on the devices and the consumer goes with them to all the sites, increasing the ratio of recurring users. The same has been understood by some commercial establishments, aware that QR codes, NFC technology and mobile applications can play a decisive role in the user’s shopping experience at the point of sale and are an effective way of reinventing the business of traditional commerce. . The mobile application of Starbucks allows, for example, payment in its establishments directly with the mobile , at the same time that the most regular users see points accumulate, thus facilitating customer loyalty and return to business.

But mobility is not just a matter of customer relations. It also affects business operations, their management capacity and the speed of their operations. Mobility has reached ERPs and CRMs systems, allowing, for example, commercial fleets to interact in real time with their information systems, saving time and improving customer relations. There are many management Apps that flood the market and more and more companies are adapting their systems to embrace the advantages of mobile technology. No one has gone crazy. They do so by following a business leitmotiv: to evolve.

The adaptation of the business to the opportunities of this new environment is today an option but tomorrow it will be one more requirement to be able to compete. The difference between some companies and others will surely be who has dared to tackle the challenge before.

Article written by Carlos Cuerda and David Arias, partners of Mobbitat and published in the newspaper EL PAIS on May 12, 2013