When it comes to mobile consumers think only smartphones

mobilereportAccording to the 201 4 Mobile Behavior Report “marketers often think of mobile as an entire category of non-computer technology: smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and so on. Contrastingly, consumers tend to view mobile as a single device: their smartphones.”

Consumers most frequently associate “mobile” with a smartphone/cell phone (54% selected this association), while only 14% said tablets/e-readers. Thirty-two percent also said they associate mobile with ease of use on the go, demonstrating that consumers feel a strong link between that device in their pockets and the connected freedom it brings. Mobile devices are essential in consumers’ day-to-day lives. Consider these findings:

  •  85% of respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life—and 90% of those aged 18-24 agreed.
  •  At an even greater rate, 89% say that mobile devices allow them to stay up to date with loved ones and social events. To that 89%, their mobile device signifies connectivity to all that’s going on in their world.
  •  On average, respondents report spending 3.3 hours a day on their smartphones.Mobility is indispensable in the digital age, and our mobile devices are portals through which we connect with everything and everyone. Whether it’s a tablet (see “The Role of Tablets”) or, more typically, our smartphones, these mobile devices give us access to our social and business lives on demand.


Just 14% of consumers associated tablets and e-readers with the word mobile.

It’s a largely in-home device that lends itself well to cross- device usage. Of tablet owners, 65% report using their tablet while watching TV at least once per day, while 41% use their tablet and smartphone simultaneously at least once a day.

Email (69%) and searching for info online (70%) are the most popular activities to perform on tablets at least once a day; for smartphones, it’s email (91%) and text messaging (90%).


Brands aren’t delivering content optimally on mobile devices (including the all-important content-distributing tablets), however— 54% of survey respondents say mobile-optimized websites don’t give enough information.

Easy access to content across devices and platforms is increasingly critical to consumers: More than nine out of ten consumers say that access to content however they want it is somewhat or very important; 59% say it’s very important. Similarly, 83% say a seamless experience across all devices is somewhat or very important.

Only 53% say they liked or followed a brand on social media from a mobile device in the past six months. Forty-six percent of consumers report that brands don’t provide meaningful content on social media.

Fifty-four percent of respondents say that mobile websites don’t give enough content; 54% also say it’s easier to find information on mobile websites—so while mobile-optimized sites are more user-friendly, they’re currently insufficient.


This should not come as a surprise to anyone considering that 80% 0f wifi use is at home.    Research companies have defined “mobile” but they have done so without asking consumers and that is a mistake.


There is a reason that smartphones are getting bigger; consumers want a better online mobile experience.  Current smarphones are great for email and text messages but lag when it comes to surfing the web.

While mobile continues to take share from PC’s, for ecommerce sites,  PC’s are still the dominant channel.

January 2014 orders-PC's vs. Mobile
January 2014 orders-PC’s vs. Mobile

However, this data does not breakdown “mobile” devices, tablets vs. smartphones.  In  research I was a part of late last year we heard a lot of consumers say that they had to go to their PC’s to order/view content because tablet browsers rendered mobile websites.

To win the consumer’s mobile time, brands need to deliver an integrated, omni-channel experience.  The brand with the easiest-to-access content wins. Eighty-three percent of consumers said that a seamless experience across all their devices is somewhat or very important; they want the content they want where and when they want it. Deliver it and you’ll be the clear leader.

Finally the idea that “within a few years the desktop experience will be irrelevant compared to mobile” is complete bull droppings.  Tablets will grow in size and use as they add keyboards and tablets are going to become more like laptops.


Marketers need research companies who conduct primary and secondary research not ones that take public information and have reports written by journalists instead of industry experienced analysts.


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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