It is amazing to see how human behavior adapts very fast to new habits, especially when you find a strong interest in doing it. That is why mobile became such an important platform for communication and even purchase behavior. The world has become mobile and our cell-phones are smart enough now to allow you managing all your life from it. You can talk to it, touch its screen and give orders with your fingers. Some how, using your phone to literally call someone is today the second or third usage of your phone. Before that you have things like the time, the weather forecast and other related services, emails, sms and social media like Facebook. 80% of people between 16 to 35 years old use regularly a mobile phone. As we can see in the chart below, the overall mobile traffic to internet is exponentially increasing year after year.
Mobile web is a blockbuster
Forecasts for next year shows that figures will double between 2014 and 2015 in terms of terabytes provided to mobile devices. Of course this explosion of usage comes from 2 main phenomenon. One is the increase of mobile web penetration worldwide and another one is the fact better bandwidth, 4G connection and WiFi everywhere is spreading which allows a much heavier consumption of content (HD videos rather than simple texts and images). If you take in consideration the number of devices in circulation, its growth is also exponential. While global population is growing by 1.2% every year, Mobile devices grow 7 times faster. Today it is considered there are more mobile devices than people! The number of mobile devices in circulation is 7.22 Billion whereas world population is considered to be around 7.19 to 7.21 billion (source: Independant.co.uk). This means there are many people around this world with multiple devices and multiple sim cards. From all mobile devices categories,Tablets have overcome smartphones in numbers and it is equal to M2M modules (machine to machine communication devices like WiFi).
It is a true World Wide Web
With the development of cheap technologies, the internet is reaching all parts of the world. We consider today that regular Internet access has a 79.1% penetration rate worldwide. This figure will increase up to 90.1% by 2017. This means that almost everybody would have access to internet. Some regions are quite complex to reach. Try to find a internet connection in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia (trust me I tried). Impossible. Nevertheless, technology is evolving and high-tech companies are looking for a solution. Google has an unbelievable project to provide internet to very remote places thanks to hot air balloons equipped with WiFi-Max or other communication relay capabilities. It is not yet developed but pretty much on going.
What we can also see in the chart above is the fact that 48.9% of people has a mobile phone (at least) and as phones become more and more smart, this means mobile internet is growing very fast. In the below chart, we can see that by the end of 2013, 34% of internet users browse the web with their mobile phone. They used it to search for products and services and buy them. By the end of 2014, we are over crossing the mythical line of 50%. What does this mean? Well, it means that if your company’s website is not adapted to mobile, your customers’ experience will be poor. You might have customers that will never check your “desktop website” as they might do it either from their smartphones and/or tablets. According to a Business Insider 2014 online survey, 68% of people would not buy from a brand if the online user experience is not good. This is even more important in the luxury industry. So you might want to reconsider the experience you are providing to customers via the mobile web.
Mobile first is the key of user experience
The mobile web penetration rate is evolving so fast that millions of website have now more traffic coming from mobile than desktop. This means that companies need to completely rethink the user-experience as explained previously. Major news website like Time or even Eurosport proposes a complete mobile integrated website, skipping the “desktop version”. Today we have tablet version and smartphone. Can one same layout do everything? Of course not. Well, not always but it is improving.
Some companies decided to have a completely full Responsive design website. We are no longer talking about devices but more about screen resolutions. The entire website is designed with what we call “break-points”, meaning the web-designer will shape the code of the pages to adapt and distribute all the elements through a certain order and size. This is supposed to present the best usage of the website no matter your screen size.
Other companies will prefer to have two versions of the website. The first one is a Desktop-tablet version (with some responsive features) and the second one is a m.website that triggers only if you access the site via a smartphone. Is there a better option? Not really. It all depends what experience you wish to propose to your users. If we take the example of the luxury car brand Porsche, the mobile experience is very specific. Rather than proposing every option on mobile, the German decided to focus on car photo galleries browsing and tech specs. Basically this is what Porsche mobile visitors will be doing. E-commerce websites tend to focus on the e-business part. The tricky part is that today smartphones are getting bigger and bigger and 4G connections provide good internet everywhere. We can see that mobile video consumption is also growing very fast. In the next 4 years the global mobile video traffic will multiply by 10 which means that user experience will increase as well.
The 10 key figures for mobile web
In order to conclude this article, here are the 10 key learnings from mobile web in 2014. These might give you some insights that you cannot forget if you are working on any mobile strategy for 2015 and beyond
- 57% is the percentage of users who won’t recommend companies with poor mobile sites
- 1 in 4 online searches are conducted on mobile devices
- The average American spend almost 2 hours per day on a mobile device
- By 2015, mobile marketing in the US will generate $400 billion
- By 2016, mobile ad revenue will reach $24.5 billion
- 85% of the users prefer a native mobile app to mobile website
- 224 million Monthly active mobile app users un the US
- 66% of mobile device users access social networks from these devices
- Facebook controlled 16% of the global mobile ad market in 2013
- US Social Media ad revenues are expected to reach $11 billion by 2017.
The world went from mobility to mobile. The world wide web is changing drastically not only because of mobile devices but also because screens become touch-screens. No more keyboards and mouses but fingers and virtual keyboards. Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and India are developing the mobile web much faster than developed countries. The user experience became the key thing for marketers in order to place brands under the fingers and the hearts of consumers. The world is definitely smaller than we think.
Info sourced at techcrunch, Mashable, LeMonde techno, searchenginejournal.com, wikipedia and Bilan. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.