SMBs

Three SMB tech trends to watch in 2013

Read about several of the small business trends that contributor David Gitonga predicts will dominate in 2013.

In 2012, initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the growth of Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) continued to create a level playing ground for large enterprises and SMBs. Here's what I believe SMBs can expect in the coming year.

1: Mobile wallets

2012 was also a big year for mobile wallets, and I think that this trend will get even hotter in 2013. Square, Passbook for iOS, and Google Wallet are making it possible for businesses of all sizes to offer mobile payment solutions to customers.

The partnership between Square and Starbucks signaled a start to mainstream services in online mobile payments. Square processes all credit and debit card transactions at Starbucks stores in the United States, allowing customers to pay for their vanilla lattes by simply saying their names to get their credit cards processed.

2: YouTube as a promotion and engagement tool

YouTube's growth has been exponential over the last three years, and the trend is not decelerating. Over 800 million people use YouTube each month, and past growth statistics show the number hitting a billion in 2013. Another interesting fact is that more than 20 percent of all YouTube views are from mobile devices. These impressive stats should make you assess whether your business could do more to leverage YouTube.

Many businesses are using YouTube to house their video content; the ability to embed these videos on their websites makes the service even more appealing. Now businesses can easily share their video content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ right within YouTube.

YouTube also includes small business tools to help you measure engagement. YouTube Analytics can help you determine which videos have more engagement. It is even possible to undertake YouTube SEO and garner search results right within Google search.

3: Mobile support

The desktop and mobile are no longer separate entities and each should be given the same amount of attention, as mobile continues to heat up and is predicted to overtake desktop usage by 2014. A great customer experience on mobile devices can lead to return visitors and good referrals.

Most large enterprises have responsive websites that respond to the size of the device from which they are being accessed. When a single design renders differently on mobile devices, it offers usability advantages for mobile users.

It's no longer a question of whether your small business will support mobile, but rather when. Hopefully, this will be one of your 2013 resolutions.

What small business tech trends do you think we'll see in 2013? Post your predictions in the comments section.

About

David Gitonga is an avid reader and writer and has worked with various companies to design, develop, and maintain their websites. He has worked with websites as an online content marketing strategist in the field of tech, social media, design, and de...

5 comments
osgcurt
osgcurt

It's been 15 years and we are finally getting somewhere with mobile. But a big problem is corporations still have a problem with mobile workers. At one consulting company I was working at we sent up a resource to a client and when we called him the next day, because the client was looking for him, we could here the beach in the background. The message to tech workers? Don't mess it up for those of us who work remotely and use mobile to make a living. I guess that's why I received a offer this morning to work 5 days a week 1000 miles away and go "home" on the weekends. So what home would that be? The Airport?

Trentski
Trentski

The ad's on there are so damn annoying

gechurch
gechurch

It should be very easy to tell whether remote workers are doing the wrong thing. Phones have GPS and it's simple to track them. And even more simply... the client paying for his time noticed that he wasn't there and alerted you to that fact. Things holding us back are the "niceties" like having everyone in one building and being able to quickly call meetings etc. Technology is fixing that problem though (unified messaging etc). BYOD is taking off and companies are realising they can get away with having employees buy their own smart phones. I think the next step will be for companies realising that they can have employees work from home so they won't have to provide office space, parking, air-conditioning etc etc.

DavGits
DavGits

Am sure we will continue to see improvements in BYOD and hopefully help companies deploy more remote workers. I love working remotely as well and I don't want anyone messing it up for me as well. Osgcurt, you are not alone.

DavGits
DavGits

At least they allow you to skip the ad. As an advertiser, this is really great since you don't get to pay when your ad is skipped.