Mobile usage is on the rise. We got that. But I was still surprised to see this fact from BrightEdge: “Mobile internet usage now accounts for one out of every three digital media consumption minutes.”
In terms of growth, mobile visits are up 125% over last year. Compare that to the only 12% growth in desktop usage and you can see where this is going.
Software/technology, financial services and real estate were the big winners with more than 15 times the growth of desktop visits in those categories. Tech is an obvious hit. Real Estate works well with mobile because of the very mobile nature of the business. If you’re searching for a new home, having access to local information right on your phone is invaluable.
I’m fascinated by the growth in the financial services categories. Since security and privacy are big issues with mobile, you’d think that finances would be the last category to come around. I suppose, if you’re involved in the stock market, having instant access to your accounts while you’re in the car or at lunch is a good thing. Personally, I’ve given up my concerns because my bank lets me deposit checks via my phone. That’s a huge time saver, so I’m putting my faith in their firewalls and clicking send.
But while folks are using their smartphones to access information, conversions aren’t climbing at the same rate. Desktops and now tablets, are far better for conversions due to the size of the screen. I don’t care how small your fingers are, filling out the information needed to complete a traditional online purchase is tricky and frustrating.
BrightEdge only found three categories where smartphone conversions bested desktop conversions; entertainment, travel and . . .ecommerce? What? Didn’t I just say that filling in shopping cart screens is too hard on a smartphone? Entertainment has 1.6x’s the conversions thanks to the large quantity of videos in this category. As for travel? I guess people are using their phones to book hotels and check airline reservations.
eCommerce just perplexes me. If someone from BrightEdge reads this, please explain this. Sure, many sites are using fast mobile checkout through Paypal or other online payment options but I find it hard to believe that more people are buying online than on a desktop. I must be misinterpreting this stat.
In summary, this is another push to get your mobile house in order. The holiday shopping season is rapidly approaching and you don’t want to lose sales because your site doesn’t function properly on a smartphone. Fix now. Test now. Because a year from now the stat will probably read 2 out of every 3 digital media minutes is consumed via mobile.