Smartphones and m-commerce have eased many pandemic-related challenges, but regional businesses need to evolve mobile strategies to meet and exceed expectations.

Spurred by rapid digital transformation, businesses are increasingly investing in mobile application development to meet consumer demands. In fact, the World Economic Forum reports that countries such as The Philippines and Malaysia have become the top two countries in e-commerce retail growth, with 25% and 23% growth per year, respectively.

One of the drivers of this growth is the proliferation of mobile smart devices, so strategies to tap the consumer data are critical to the advancement of mobile applications for providing fast, efficient, always-on and customer-centric e-commerce.

In an interview with DigiconAsia, Stuart Fisher, Regional Vice President (Asia Pacific and Japan), Couchbase, shared some insights on how regional businesses can invest in mobile technology to meet growing consumer demands.

Stuart Fisher, Regional Vice President, APJ, Couchbase

DigiconAsia: What impact does a mobile strategy have on building customer loyalty?

SF: The rising use of mobile technology has enabled businesses and brands to unlock a precise method of measurement for customer loyalty using mobile applications.

According to the World Economic Forum, countries such as Singapore (87%), Malaysia (83%), and Thailand (75%) have comparatively higher smartphone penetration in the region. McKinsey stated that ASEAN customers are now spending more time and resources on owned-media channels such as mobile apps, social media and customer-service channels.

A PwC report found that 3 out of 5 five consumers will not return to applications after several bad shopping experiences, and 17% will avoid apps after just one bad experience.

In the banking and financial services sector, Forrester Research revealed that a growing number of consumers were frustrated that banking apps lacked the same functionalities offered on their websites.

Therefore, failing to prioritize mobile strategy as part of the customer experience can cause organizations to potentially lose up to a fifth of their customers.

DigiconAsia: How should regional businesses and brands develop mobile strategies to boost e-consumer experiences?

SF: Invest in a well-conceived mobile strategy that empower developers to build innovative, scalable, always available and user-friendly mobile applications.

Improving the mobile user experience is essential in building a loyal customer base. Organizations must  consider strategies to supplement their mobile and edge capabilities to meet the increasing demands of  modern applications, and it is paramount that data must always be available so apps always perform at unmatched speed.

Business leaders need to implement  a single, universal platform that enables mobile developers to easily and seamlessly manage application deployments, ultimately achieving faster innovation across a wide variety of verticals and use cases for maximum business uptime and continuity.

DigiconAsia: What are the critical ingredients for developing the optimal mobile strategy that you mentioned?

SF: Companies need to ensure that their mobile experience matches the web experience. With the right strategy and technology, they can empower developers to not only meet this critical requirement, but also create new and dynamic mobile applications that give them a competitive advantage during periods of high traffic.

To be flexible in their interactions with customers, businesses have to be quick on their feet despite the recent shifts to remote and hybrid work environments amid accelerated shifts to cloud computing from on-prem databases and the rise of mobile applications. This leads to the need for businesses to transition to an infrastructure that enables an agile development approach to their infrastructure requirements.

Also, massive amounts of data are amassed and transacted from disparate collection points such as IoT devices or mobile devices at colossal rates these days. Accumulating all that data in one central repository can lead to significant latency and performance problems. To avert such constraints in their mobile strategy, organizations need an infrastructure designed to reduce latency and increase reliability by storing and processing data closer to the applications that use it.

This simple and straightforward concept enables innovations like immersive real-time AR/VR and advanced multiplayer online gaming: use cases that must never suffer outages or slowness, and require high guarantees of speed and availability.

The obvious and important benefit of establishing a seamless cloud-to-edge infrastructure designed for performance and innovation is: better mobile apps and mobile customer experiences.

DigiconAsia. What novel technologies are useful for storing, processing, synchronizing and analyzing data directly at the point of interaction, to power mobile applications for better customer experiences?

SF: Unpredictable market disruptions since early 2020 have dramatically altered demands and expectations of how mobile applications perform.

Developers, now distributed all over the country due to remote-working and hybrid work arrangements, face urgent and exacting demands to meet the heightened expectations. So, they will need technologies that are:

  • Offline-first: Even inlocations where internet connectivity is slow, unstable, or completely absent for extended periods, work can be done in a consistent, assured manner that allows developers to concentrate of their core work rather than worry about connectivity or equipment constraints.
  • Edge-ready for low latency: Mobile applications that meet the heightened expectations of today’s consumers require dynamic databases of multiple data sources and schemas, as opposed to databases with fixed schemas. One non-relational database technology that meets these needs is NoSQL, also known as not-only-SQL. An edge-ready NoSQL data platform includes an embedded mobile database with built-in sync capabilities. Being designed for agile development, NoSQL is developer-friendly, cloud-and-edge-centric, and can enable organizations to store, process, synchronize and analyze data directly at the point of interaction, powering modern applications that are always fast, available and reliable.

DigiconAsia thanks Stuart for sharing his insights with readers.