Last year the number of mobile users overtook those on desktops; whilst, according to a a 2015 study by emarketer, usage time has followed this trend.

The fact is, mobile has become the first - and in some case only - choice for that lucrative market of people in their 20s and 30s (Millennials) with an average app usage of 75 hours per month, according to the the latest figures from comScore.

Consumer habits have changed significantly. People are now using mobile apps to not only browse and message but to shop for clothes and groceries, do their banking, book a restaurant, book a flight, hail a taxi, gamble, and even date.

A change in focus

Research by EE in 2014 found that 44% of UK consumers admitted to showrooming (they use their mobile phone in a bricks and mortar store to find a cheaper price online). These changes have already had a massive impact on the high street, with many retailers now focusing on online sales (e-commerce) as their future. With UK online sales predicted to reach £52bn in 2015 according to a study conducted by RetailMeNot.

Many UK businesses have benefited from the rise of mobile including ASOS, Ocado, Just Eat, and Spotify, to name just a few. However, the majority of UK businesses still fail to invest significantly in mobile whether that be not having an app, a mobile optimised website, or not spending on mobile advertising.

If that’s not compelling enough, earlier this month, Google’s John Mueller announced in a hangout that you don’t even need a desktop website anymore, and that going mobile-first won’t hurt a websites rank: "What generally happens is, we will just include the mobile site in our search results, like any other site, and we will present it to desktop users."

What can we expect in the future?

Mobile ownership and usage times will continue to grow at a staggering rate, with research by Ericsson showing that by 2020, 90% of the world's population over six years old will have a mobile phone.

New developments in technology, larger screen sizes as seen in the growth of phablets, advanced imaging technology, mobile payment technology, faster network speeds such as 5G, and decreasing prices will further drive the replacement of desktop by mobile.

In addition, the improved functionality of apps, better user experiences, and more sophisticated personalisation will increase the amount of time users spend on mobile.

The arrival of wearable devices such as iWatch will also mean a more varied use of these technologies; such as in sport, where mobile devices haven’t currently been used.

Mobile advertising

Although the implications of these statistics and trends are obvious, mobile ad spend is yet to follow. According to a recent study by KPCB, there is only 8% spend compared to the level of mobile consumption.


In our next article, we look at why it’s time to invest in mobile advertising and what the options are for maximising the return on your budget.