Stats that show why you need a mobile first approach now


The other week someone asked me what an agency such as Rabbit (where I work) should be focusing on going forward.

My reply, was previously organisations have been talking about a digital first approach.   In other words, concentrate on online channels and content 1st, which then filters into the offline world.   However now the priority has to be mobile first,  you cater in the 1st instance for people who may be consuming your content via their smartphones.

Sounds obvious enough, but some recent stats demonstrate the need to move from theory to practice:

  • Most in the UK had used an app (52%) a mobile browser (52.6%), and though the mobile games space is growing with 37% having played a game, 39% had accessed social networks via their mobile

  • In April for the first time in 40 months, social network apps overtook games.  Analytics company Flurry says mobile users spent 24 minutes each a day on games and social networks, with social networks slightly ahead.    Overall users Flurry tracked spent 77 minutes a day with mobile apps – so over an hour a day
  • A related study published in the Telegraph, found that smartphone owners make *fewer* telephone calls, spending five hours a week surfing the Internet on their devices
  • In March 2012, mobile devices accounted for 10% of traffic to online retail sites.  Separately, a study by SEO Agency Spy said that 54% of UK consumers had made a purchase via their mobiles, while only a minority (35%) would never consider it
  • A study involving 34,000 people worldwide by browser Opera found that in some countries almost half of new Internet users are mobile only.   Bear in mind that Opera pulls its data from its own users, and that Opera’s main focus is now mobile devices, but this is still significant

So what’s the conclusion?   In two, at the latest three years, mobile devices will be the main way of connecting to the Internet.   Younger consumers are already doing so, and various activities ranging from social media to online shopping are increasing on smartphones.

Smartphones are becoming the primary camera for more and more people coinciding with Instagram reaching 50 million users, while smartphone users are not only always connected but engage in content snacking as this US report says 

In other words, what they consume may not be different, but how they consume it, how long for, how they share it and how they view it will be.  That’s something we need to be ready for now.

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  1. Indeed, for Facebook, mobile usage may become primary because everyone wants to share what they are doing when they’re on travel.
    But for 90% of the other scenario’s –> I state searching (Google), shopping, information (wiki, news websites, corporate websites), E-mailing, applications, communities, banking, downloading, word processing and so on, the desktop will undoubtably remain the primary way of using internet.

  2. Hi Jan,

    I appreciate you commenting. I am not sure I agree with what you say for two reasons:

    * Sure an awful lot of time is spent on desktop PCs. An awful lot of that time is also spent at work. The type of content accessed on mobiles is different as is the time of the day – case in point, 60% of UK consumers check their phone during an ad break (source Shazam at the IAB Engage conference last week)

    * Just the other week, the stat came out about Facebook time on mobiles beating desktop access –

  3. This is a rather nearsighted perspective of the facts. Counting only in number of devices is the wrong way to go. Mobile users by far don’t browse as much as desktop users. The number will be higher, eventually everyone may have one, but the actual usage is way behind. Desktop users can browse a full day, while mobile users only use their smartphone for some minutes. The ratio is currently 90-10 in the advantage of the desktop, see here
    Conclusion: A mobile second approach would be more relevant.

  4. Great info Kirk.

    I am passionate about the mobile web myself and find it very frustrating of the amount of education I have to give of the benefits of having a mobile presence.
    The classic one is “I don’t need a mobile website because I don’t have a mobile”
    Can anyone beat that?

    @Keith Yes, I agree with responsive theme.
    @Kirk I like your theme (use them myself) and WordPress can be easily mobilised ;-p

  5. @kaje74 – good point, it is time for me to change my theme!

    @Deltina Hay – thank you, will certainly check your site out

    @Keith Davis – thanks for stopping by and really appreciate it

  6. Useful info Dirk
    I advise all my clients to go with a mobile responsive theme, then I demonstrate what real mobile responsive is.

    The theme doesn’t simply get smaller… it responds to the size of the viewing area available.

    Good to see it in figures.

  7. I couldn’t agree more, Dirk. I still amazes me that not even 20% of business websites are mobile-ready. You can read how to do so at my blog if you would like to know how…

  8. Ironically, this story is nearlu unreadable on a BlackBerry torch. Someday, formatting for mobile devices will be more widespread.

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