If your business doesn't have an international presence yet, there's no time to waste. The number of smartphone and mobile Internet users in Asia, Africa and other developing areas has been growing over the past few years. These new Web users are potential customers and clients, and you can reach them directly through their phones.
A new report from Swedish multinational communication company Ericsson found that the numbers of mobile and Web users in these regions of the world are expected to continue expanding in the next few years. The report shows that it's the perfect time to translate your app and globalize your Web presence.
Ericsson's report shows growing market of mobile users
The Ericsson Mobility Report published in June 2015 shows that many of the promising trends of mobile Internet use among developing countries are expected to continue rising for at least the next five years. The report analyzes data on smartphones, tablets, portable computers and the data or Internet plans associated with each.
"Smartphone and data subscriptions are expected to grow through 2020."
Worldwide subscriptions for all of these devices is predicted to increase by 5 percent by 2020, up from 6.8 billion in 2014 to nearly 9.2 billion. Over that same time frame, smartphone subscriptions are expected to jump by 15 percent and mobile subscriptions to Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, mobile Internet rising by 40 percent. The only area where decline is expected is among service for slower Internet services such as Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, or EDGE. Data traffic on each mobile device is also expected to increase by at least 25 percent by 2020 as people use the Web more.
Aside from just providing the data that shows a clear uptick in spending and use of mobile Internet, the Ericsson report explained the even greater importance mobile devices will have, especially smartphones. By 2020, smartphones are expected to make up 80 percent of mobile data traffic, the report explained.
Across the globe, the number of smartphones, connected devices and data plans is expected to rise across all markets. In developing countries, these numbers are predicted to climb as new users are added, while in mature economies users may be upgrading and adding additional devices, the report outlined.
While much of Ericsson's report details trends encompassing users all over the globe, some of the most intriguing information for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to find new audiences is the enormous growth in certain developing nations.
Asian Pacific countries including China, India, Japan, Myanmar and Indonesia added some of the most mobile phones around the world in the first quarter of 2015, with India alone adding 26 million. An increasing number of these devices are smartphones, but not all yet. This means that the growth is expected to continue as more connected devices are added. Africa had similarly high numbers, adding 21 million devices in Q1 across the continent.
"India is the fastest growing mobile phone market."
Asia, Africa and the Middle East are the areas that are expected to have the most growth by 2020, Ericsson noted.
"The number of mobile subscriptions is continuing to grow across regions. This growth is expected to be particularly strong in the Middle East and Africa due to a young and growing population and rising GDP – as well as the current penetration being low compared to the rest of the world. Several countries in the Asia Pacific region will experience a strong subscription uptake over the next five years, while more mature regions like North America and Europe will have more moderate growth," the report explained.
Capitalize on this expected growth
Don't let the smartphone manufacturers and data carriers be the only businesses to capitalize on this global demand. As more and more people are connected to the Internet, you can increase your audience. Look for new markets where your service can thrive, break into multiple countries where there isn't already established competition and directly target communities that would benefit from your business.
The key to standing out and breaking into these markets of new mobile Web users is having a stellar mobile interface and talking to them in their native language. Although many people in the Middle East, Africa and Asia speak English, humans are much more likely to make a purchase in their native language. According to the Harvard Business Review, people spend the overwhelming majority of their time surfing the Web in their own language and are about 72 percent more likely to make a purchase on a website in their language.
Focus your efforts on translating your Web presence and apps into the native languages of the markets you're looking to break into. Additionally, use professional translation and localization services to create targeted advertising campaigns on social media and search engines.