What we learnt from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Two weeks ago, we were in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. The whole mobile community was gathered in this global scale event where over 96,000 visitors from 40 countries and 2,200 companies participated.

If the event is addressed to a wide range of industries all impacted by mobile’s evolutions such as financial services, retail, health, education and more, we focused on retail and connected commerce. Perspectives for m-commerce are growing and getting extremely interesting. Following are the main topics that were discussed during the many keynotes, conferences and presentations.

Mobile payments solutions

The development of mobile payment services is still very strong and innovative digital payment methods should continue to revolutionize online transactions.

Dan Schulman, from Paypal unveiled PayPal Commerce, a solution providing retailers with an easy set of tools to securely sell to their customers wherever they are connecting digitally. Visa has also unveiled a new mobile payment technology using MVisa and Visa Checkout. At Mastercard, they are deploying an app that lets users prove their ID via a selfie or fingerprint check to authorise online purchases… Finally, Barclays has introduced various new products such as BPAYbracelets, key rings and Barclaycard stickers…

Faster connections to provide better applications

4.5G from Huawei delivering powerful mobile broadband data (10 to 100 times more powerful than 4G) is a good step towards 5G which will be a necessity to meet the needs of billions of connected devices, personalized services and cloud applications that require the emergence of more powerful and responsive networks.

Mobile CRM and Mobile-to-Store

There exists a wide range of solutions for the analysis and optimization of the physical in-store experience. The main solutions are related to in-store detection, beacon technologies, CRM clienteling and mobility for connected sellers. These solutions can now easily all be integrated in the retailer’s native applications through a SDK. It enables retailers to push notifications but also pull marketing solutions in which the client has committed to interact to receive offers and alerts. All these solutions are made possible thanks to huge investments in analytics and big data on which giants like Microsoft, Huawei, IBM and more are investing a lot.

Virtual and Augmented reality

If we have already highlighted this trend in our insights from the New York NRF, the event confirmed that actors like Samsung, HTC, LG have all been investing and working hard towards both virtual and augmented reality in the past months. When wearing these Oculus masks, all we can say is that virtual is getting closer and closer to reality. For retail, we can easily imagine being able to make our shopping from our sofa through Virtual Reality or being able to place and visualize new furniture and decoration in our living room through Augmented Reality.


Following on from the CES and the NRF, lots of improvements have been seen towards smart cities, smart homes, connected cars, and connected objects. Nokia announced $350M investment focused specifically on IoT, while IBM is building a foundation for IoT. Every tech actor seems to be engaging in a great transformation towards connected objects. Possibilities are huge and the impact on historical retailers is starting to be felt…

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