You are out of office and you receive a call from your manager asking you to email an important document on an urgent basis; you love reading but unfortunately there is no library in your vicinity; your customer lives in other city and wants to see the new collection of jewelry that has arrived at your shop. Three different scenarios, but one smart solution – mobile internet and thankfully Pakistan is
witnessing a mobile internet revolution following the launch of 3G services by all leading telecoms and also recently 4G launch. Now, one can easily email on the go, read e-books and advertise products on social networks by uploading pictures through Smartphones. Exciting times are ahead for local businesses that are willing to be part of this revolution.
Mobile internet revolution has not only changed the lives of a common man but it has also created a drastic impact on the businesses in emerging markets. Globally, the mobile internet has been around since 2000 and it’s growing rapidly every year. In today’s world, the mobile is ubiquitous and it is upstaging PCs, laptops and tablets to emerge as the device of choice for internet connectivity. The reason behind this is the ‘carry it anywhere, everywhere’ convenience and accessibility offered by these devices. Smartphones offer a wide range of applications that make it easy for businesses and people to abstract the desired information and carry out activities relevant to their needs. Couple that up with a super-fast internet service and what you get is consistent connectivity with the world at large.
In short, high quality mobile internet is the way forward for businesses who wish to tap in to a market previously left untouched. It’s obvious that businesses have to constantly adapt themselves to changing trends in order to survive in this competitive world. With the current mobile internet revolution, there is an opportunity of e-commerce industry to flourish through which more consumers will be able to shop online with ease. Generally, the Asian market is a huge contributor to the global mobile boom with the region contributing to around 895 million active mobile subscriptions in the year 2012 alone. In fact, a Nielsen Smartphone Insights Study 2013 shows that smart phone penetration in the Asia-Pacific region is booming, presenting a huge mobile commerce opportunity. Moreover, the network infrastructure in these markets has improved with the influx of 3G services, particularly in Pakistan.
According to the report published by mobile survey company Ansr.io, Pakistan is ‘the fifth largest mobile phone market in Asia’. The increase in internet users has resulted in businesses realizing the significance of their web presence to connect with consumers online. Furthermore, online shopping is gradually making its presence felt in Pakistan. The e-commerce market in Pakistan is estimated to be around $25-30 million, in comparison to the total retail market of approximately $42 billion. For instance, the online shopping portal Daraaz.pk, a project of Rocket Internet, launched in Pakistan in 2012 is one of few businesses utilizing the mobile commerce in Pakistan. According to Muneeb Idrees, the Co-founder of Daraaz.pk, more than half their orders are from outside Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. It is because people in smaller towns have access to either mobile based internet or television. They learn about new products, but don’t have malls in their cities to buy these products. Therefore they end up placing orders online.According to data, around 20 percent of the transactions on Daraz.pk take place through cell-phones, a number which is set to increase. Verily the E-commerce sector will be the greatest beneficiary of the current mobile internet revolution as businesses which have diversified into providing different services online from seat reservations to property selling can take advantage by navigating the location of the consumers and offer them customized solutions. This is one of the most cost-effective ways for the marketers to reach out and engage with consumers online.
In the UK and US, with the latest 4G technologies, the small and large businesses of UK are reaping all the benefits of going wireless.
With the robustness of 4G, one does not need to worry about sending or accessing large files. According to a global study conducted by the American firm ‘Arthur D Little’, more than eight out of 10 US businesses surveyed (86 %) got more work done on the move with 4G. More than 76 per cent of US respondents agreed that 4G has helped their firms innovate and jump ahead of the competition. Success stories like these have start-ups and small businesses excited about recent 4G LTE launch this year and the potential it has to uplift local businesses.
It’s true that “technology can do wonders,” and in today’s age, it is actually influencing the lifestyle of the people. With mobile internet, one cannot only optimize the effect of advertising but also cash in on the interest of the consumers. With the penetration of 3G and 4G services, companies can also develop mobile apps that provide a feasible way to engage consumers. It is important for the companies to be adaptable in the face of evolving technologies to gain success in these constantly changing markets.