Mobile Internet Usage - It's Time To Assess Your Mobile Strategy

As marketers and developers, most understand the power and value of mobile internet and its potential to interact on an exceptionally personal level with users. What has been startling is the meteoric rise of the mobile The stats have been eyebrow raising for everyone; yet what appears slower to sink in is what the impact of a poor, or indeed no mobile strategy means to web site / digital real estate owners.

We’ve recently undertaken some research through our own extensive client base, segmenting into loose categories of leisure and transport, creative sector, consumer facing businesses and corporates / b2b.

We’ve pooled the stats from over 60 key sites that we manage or consult on, across almost as many industries and tried to normalise the results with a spread of geography and a vistor number weighting when calculating averages to get an accurate national picture. All figures provided are relating to June 2012 and are rounded to the nearest whole percentage point.

The sites included are responsible for millions of unique users per month so should provide a reasonably accurate “state of the nation” with these high level statistics.

Our findings are quite staggering.

Overall mobile usage.

Taking into account all of the domains we measured, total mobile traffic crept over 21%. Over one in 5 unique site visits across our entire client base originated from a mobile device. Page views are around 20% lower via mobile, as are bounce rates. This indicates that a mobile user in general terms will be “in and out”, though is more likely to persevere with information gathering than a desktop user.

Other than the sheer volume of mobile traffic, there are no surprises in either the page counts or in the bounce rates. You’d expect a mobile user to be more engaged, with mobile connectivity being largely inferior, the expected time investment is generally higher and also, if someone is looking for information “on the move” in many cases, you’d expect them to actually need that information – think telephone numbers, post codes, opening hours, contact checking, train times, delays and disruptions etc.

Almost 70% of mobile traffic across our domains can be attributed to Apple devices. All you can eat data, excellent browsers and fast robust browsing experience, combined with the simple all in one nature of these commuter friendly devices means that this comes as no surprise either. What was a little more of a revelation was the fact that iPad accounts for 23% of our June 2012 web site traffic from mobile devices; iPhone accounting for 45%.

The need to adopt more responsive design and greater consideration for mobile user experience could not be more glaring. When thinking about design and development for desktop browsing, most clients want guarantees about sites working cross browser. What is being regularly missed, based on new business conversations we are having is the fact that more people are viewing web sites via mobile Safari than pretty much any other web browser. The collective internet explorer family of browsers still just about has market leadership, though these don’t work with each other from one version to the next, and for the purpose of cross browser compliance, must be effectively treated as independent pieces of software.

E-Commerce Enabled Web Sites

27% of traffic to our websites with online shopping enabled came from mobile devices in June 2012, highlighting again how critical mobile ready design is to commercially geared web sites. Dedicated mobile sites can of course help here, but simple design rules making the mobile browsing experience a good one could be enough to seriously impact on conversions and bottom line with a little forward planning and very little additional expenditure.

Recent research from IBM highlighted a 15% growth in e-commerce originating from mobile devices against a backdrop of 3.8% overall growth. To put this in perspective, while major brands are still pushing forward with huge social media campaign spends, e-commerce originating from social media in the same report had dropped by 20% over the same period. The assumption must be that people don’t like too much push marketing in their “personal space” however the convenience of commerce by mobile is appealing, especially as data speeds and wifi connectivity continue to improve. Mobile commerce, according to IBM is now responsible for 15.1% of all web sales revenue, while social is responsible for 1.8%, unthinkable just 18 months ago and a blatant indication that mobile strategy even more so than social strategy needs consideration in the here and now.

For a specific sector analysis or consultation / reporting on your own and competitor’s mobile strategy, contact Karl Baxter, Managing Director of Stunn Ltd. on 0121 616 0093.

Stunn provides in depth consultation and development strategies to help with user experience, site conversion, user retention and revenue building for mobile and desktop based web sites and applications. We use a combination of best practice, industry benchmarking, lab based user acceptance testing, market research and our extensive experience to deliver both framework research and rich and rewarding online environments for sales, communication, training and entertainment.

The Tale of the tape – Sector By Sector Comparison

Leisure & Transport 31%
Retail & B2C 26%
Creative Industries 17%
Business to Business 10%