The app?s role in mobile commerce
By David Fink
Just when we needed it, mobility took the world by storm. Right when the Dow Jones index was sinking below levels it normally traded at in 1998, smartphones began to outsell PCs for the first time.
The mobile revolution took us from the brink of disaster to a new era of prosperity. This era, like in every transition, will see old empires crumble, and new ones rise from the dust. After all, in 1998 Google was just a dream in somebody's garage.
Along with unit sales, mobility has surpassed desktops in users and usage time.
Work is underway to establish an average connection speed for wireless faster than on a PC. The rise of mobile commerce will eventually mimic this trend.
According to an industry report by GSMA Intelligence, the mobile economy generated more than $2.1 trillion of economic activity. That is larger than the economy of 99 percent of the nations on Earth. It is projected to rise to almost $3 trillion by 2020.
Every company is quickly scrambling to develop enterprise mobility departments to generate the white-hot growth rates that mobile commerce is offering.
In 2000 a company needed a Web site to survive. Now it needs a mobile application to keep up with the competition. A case in point is the retail coffee industry.
Starbucks' new mobile app is projected to add 1 percent of revenue to the $70 billion juggernaut.
Dunkin Donuts is rapidly developing an app to keep pace. Its executives know that in every industry the business that wins mobile will be the business that dominates the market.
The stakes could not be higher.
The key to mobile commerce success lies in the quality of the mobile app. Unlike desktop apps that stay in one place, operate over one screen size and typically run on one operating system, mobile apps are more complicated.
A standard mobile app is expected to work on at least two operating systems, often four. It should function as efficiently on any sized smartphone as it does on any sized tablet, regardless of the difference in screen sizes. It must perform as smoothly on a 3G local network in Shanghai as it does over a 4G connection in Singapore.
If the user decides to ride a train going through a tunnel, or gets inside an elevator, the mobile app needs to keep moving ? especially if he or she is moments away from clicking the buy button.
This may seem obvious, but the majority of mobile apps receive a one-star rating because they fail in either function or performance. SAP reports that 78 percent of enterprise mobile apps are abandoned after the first use.
Millions of dollars and thousands of developer hours are wasted because a mobile app is designed to present all the cutting-edge features of the latest technology, but is not properly tested to allow the user to enjoy those features without any unexpected problems.
Guaranteeing the quality of your mobile app through mobile app testing is the easiest way to reach the top of your market.
IN THE AGE of mobility, mobile apps are the new treasures of massive wealth.
A comprehensive mobile testing solution should include test automation, testing for function, testing for performance, and testing your app under simulated network conditions for every type of local network on which your mobile app will be expected.
The best mobile testing solutions also enable you to set up a mobile lab of different smartphones and devices that testers throughout your business can access remotely to test different mobile app projects you are working on all at the same time.
According to eMarketer, there will be 2.5 billion people worldwide using smartphones. That means for the first time in human history, one in globally will be able to buy your product with the touch of a button anywhere and anytime.
Ensuring a smooth ride for your mobile app is the best way to offer consumers the best mobile app in the industry, and the best way to capitalize on the new, new normal of commercial prosperity.
David Fink is marketing manager at Experitest, Herzliya, Israel. Reach him at .