Are smartphones taking over the world? If the numbers have any clout, they are, creating new opportunities and new ways of thinking for businesses everywhere. In 2013, our little smartphone friends are taking the reins – and these powerful tools are only going to increase their power and influence in the years to come! Needless to say, the implications behind the smartphone takeover are huge for everyone, from companies to marketing departments to web developers. Considering the mobile user has to be forefront on everyone's mind.
More mobile, on a global scale
For starters, mobile phone ownership and usage is going up locally and globally. In the United States, trends predict that by 2016, 80 percent of the U.S. population will use mobile phones. Eighty percent! Globally, there are almost as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people in the world: 6.8 billion subscriptions out of 7.1 billion people worldwide.
We're approaching a world where nearly everyone owns and uses a mobile device, whether smartphone or otherwise, increasing our connectedness not only to each other, but to brands, social media, and the Internet. For businesses and marketers, the implications of the mobile revolution are changing the way we think about reaching people. It's an incredible opportunity to deliver your valuable content and messages right into a prospective customer's hands. With nearly 100 percent of your potential consumers have a digital device in their pocket or purse, the opportunities for interacting with them and promoting your company are endless.
With connectedness by mobile skyrocketing, smartphones and tablets specifically are increasing in popularity for all the advantages and convenience they offer users.
If you're not up-to-date on your smartphone and tablet statistics, we'll bring you up to speed.
Here are three statistics about smartphone usage that may surprise you:
1. From October 2010 to October 2012, email open rates on smartphones increased by 300 percent.
Breaking it down: Although smartphone users are more likely to skim your email on their smartphone (and read it more thoroughly on a desktop), the significant thing to realize here is that your message is getting through. Email marketing campaigns and customer engagement via the email inbox is a powerful tool for businesses. Emails from you convince your potential customer that you are smart, that you have great information to share, and that you want to engage with them.
This exciting statistic shows that you have the opportunity to connect and share via email. Customers are opening emails. Are they opening yours?
2. The average price of an order placed from a mobile device is higher than the average order from a tablet or desktop.
Breaking it down: Clearly, the market for mobile sales is hot, hot, hot. With marketers optimizing e-commerce for smartphones and tablets, it's easy for people to buy anytime, anywhere. If mobile devices mean sales in bigger dollar amounts, how do you create a superb shopping experience for these users? Can you get inside the mind of a mobile user and tailor to their habit of buying on their iPhone or Android? Of course, your customers are still buying on their tablets and desktops, so you have to pay attention to each device and meet the needs of your customers there. But knowing that mobile converts so well is an extremely useful statistic and will guide the efforts of marketers and web developers customizing sites for smartphones - especially sites that allow people to place orders.
3. The mobile traffic data in 2011 was 8 times the size of the entire Internet’s traffic in 2000.
Breaking it down: In just 11 years, this is an astounding statistic to see. Considering all the sophistication in mobile technology, though, maybe we shouldn't be so aghast. Smartphones have obviously surpassed their modest counterparts in 2000. Today mobile devices are more impressive, more cool, and more user-friendly, delivering better user experiences than ever before. Mobile-optimized websites encourage mobile traffic as well, as do custom apps, so although the size of the spike is mind-boggling, the reality of the spike shouldn't surprise us. Mobile Internet access gives people the opportunity to do their banking, shopping, emailing, and social media wherever they are. Will it continue to grow? All signs point to a big yes. Mobile Internet usage is predicted to surpass desktop usage by 2014 or 2015, depending on who you ask.
Peer pressure: I got an iPhone
What do you do in the face of stats like these? Businesses and marketers have to listen up. Think and market for mobile users. Understand how smartphones and tablets work, how people use them, what people use them for, and what they expect from their online experiences. This is so critical I can't emphasize it enough: just scan the statistics again if you need a reminder. Mobile is where the money is! Not only that, but mobile is a platform where you can build relationships and deliver customer service like never before.
Personally, I just caved in and bought an iPhone for my own usage back in March. But before then, I was a staunch opponent. Phooey, I don’t need mobile Internet access, I fiercely proclaimed, making do with desktop and laptop Internet access. Quickly, though, I started to envy my friends who could find directions on their phones, find a cool nearby restaurant for dinner, check reviews on a product, search the best nearby attractions, interact on social media, and just look up answers to questions - wherever they were. Suffice it to say, now I’ve joined the smartphone masses. I use my iPhone constantly (although I'm polite about it!), and I'm grateful for all the ways it makes my life easier, provides information at the tip of my fingers, and keeps me connected to all the things that matter to me.