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Mobile Marketing Statistics compilation

Statistics on consumer mobile usage and adoption to inform your mobile marketing strategy mobile site design and app development

"Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014" was the huge headline summarising the bold prediction from 2008 by Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers who reviews technology trends annually in May.

The mobile statistics that the team at Smart Insights curate in the regular updates to this article include:

  • Ownership of smartphone vs Desktop
  • Mobile vs desktop media and website use
  • Mobile advertising response
  • Smartphone vs Tablet vs Desktop conversion rates

Well, we're now past the mobile Tipping Point as this report from comScore shows. So it's no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing important, we know it is! It's now a question of using the statistics to understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and what their preferences are.

Mobile stats vs desktop-users-global

To help you keep up-to-date with the rise in consumer and company adoption of mobile and its impact on mobile marketing, I will keep this post updated throughout 2016 as the new stats come through to support our 120 page Expert members Ebook explaining how to create a  mobile marketing strategy. We also have this free summary mobile strategy briefing for Basic members.

We have  grouped the latest mobile stats under these headings for key questions marketers need to answer about mobile to help them compete:

  • Q1. Time spent using mobile media
  • Q2. Percentage of consumers using mobile devices
  • Q3.  How many website visits are on mobile vs desktop devices?
  • Q4. Mobile device conversion rates and visit share for Ecommerce sites?
  • Q5. Mobile - app vs mobile site usage?
  • Q6. How important are mobile ads

OK, let's go!

Q1. How much time do consumers spend using mobile media?

Mary Meeker's annual spring updates on mobile are a must-read if you follow consumer adoption of technology platforms, so we have used some of the key findings from the latest KPCB mobile technology trends by Mary Meeker. Her deck is nearly 200 slides, so we have selected the statistics which best summarise the importance of mobile devices today.

The latest data shows that we are now well past the tipping point mentioned at the top of this post. Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%).


The implications are clear - if you're not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you're not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out compared to competitors who are.

The trend in mobile device usage ('vertical screens') compared to all screen use again shows that we're well past the tipping point.

time spent on mobile vs desktop devices 2015


Q2. Percentage of consumers using mobile devices?

We've created a new summary showing the global popularity of using different digital devices using data from Global Web Index to include in for our State of Digital Marketing 2015 infographic.

It clearly shows the popularity of smartphone ownership and emerging mobile devices like Smartwatches.


Insight from comScore published in their February 2014 market review shows the picture that marketers need to build up. This panel data shows that the majority of consumers are "multiscreening", accessing retail sites on mobile or desktop, so consistent experiences across device need to be deployed.


You need to answer this for your own site. As Rob Thurner explained in his post on KPIs to review mcommerce effectiveness, it's important to keep track of the split between users of mobile and desktop devices visiting your site(s). Using advanced segments in Google Analytics is the best way to do this.

Q3. How many website visits are on mobile vs desktop devices?

However, we need to be careful with interpreting data on hours spent, since we spend most of our time on smartphones checking email and using social media. This has led to the common mantra of 'mobile-first' design which I think is dangerous. Eric Schmidt, then Chairman of Google talked about a mobile-first approach. The reality is that while smartphone use is overwhelmingly popular for some activities such as social media, messaging and catching up with news and gossip, the majority of consumers in western markets also have desktop (and tablet) devices which they tend to use for more detailed review and purchasing. So we need to think about strategies to engage what comScore call the Multichannel Majority not simply 'mobile first' or 'smartphone adoption'.  This explains why mobile conversion rates are much lower in retail and why the breakdown between traffic for retail sites is broadly equal between smartphone and desktop. Audience measurement platform comScore has talked for some time about strategies to engage and measure the multiplatform majority across devices and I think there will, or should be more focus on that in the years ahead.

This UK data also shows the importance of the multichannel majority in sectors like Retail and to a lesser extent banking, but that for some niches like weather 'mobile first' is more accurate.

Multichannel Majority Desktop-vs-mobile use

Their latest data for the US is striking in shows how the multi-device majority dominate, particularly amongst millenials.

Although mobile is growing in importance, this older data from Adobe's latest Digital Index (not updated yet in 2016) shows that in all industries the majority of visits are still on desktop.

Percentage of desktop vs mobile visits 2016 data

So with so many site visits still on desktop, it's important when designing using a responsive web design that the desktop experience isn't degraded and this has led to many larger businesses using an adaptive web design where layout and content are tailored for desktop, tablet and smartphone screen dimensions.

Q4. Mobile device conversion rates and visit share for Ecommerce sites?

We have a separate compilation of Ecommerce conversion stats if you're creating a business case for mobile optimised sites as explained in our mobile marketing strategy guide, this data is also valuable since it shows the variation in conversion rate by mobile type. This is the latest data from Monetate for their retail clients showing conversion rates.  2016 Ecommerce retail conversion rates by device

The data clearly shows that Smartphone add-to-cart and conversion rates are much lower than for desktop - important if you're making the business case for a mobile responsive site.

Conversion rates by mobile device type 2016


This source is useful since it's a regular survey showing the growth in use of mobile site visitors. enables you to drill down to see usage by device type, for example iPad is still the dominant tablet, but Kindle Fire and Android tablets now account for over 10% of tablets. You can see that tablet and smartphone use nearly doubled in the year based on 500 million plus visits for these retail clients (see link above for methodology).

Q5. Mobile media time - app vs mobile site usage?

Consumer preference for mobile apps vs mobile sites should also be thought through as part of mobile strategy. This data from Nielsen on mobile media time shows the consumer preference for mobile apps which account for 89% of media time in mobile as might be expected from the use of the most popular social network, email and news apps.

Mobile app vs site usage

App usage (90% of time) dominates browsers in mobile usage

We reported comScore data in May 2012 that showed that on smartphones 82% of mobile media time is via apps.  Today, the latest data from Yahoo's Flurry analytics shows that 90 percent of consumer's mobile time is spent in apps. As they put it,put it: It’s an App World. The Web Just Lives in It. This is a key insight as companies decide whether to develop mobile apps or create mobile device specific apps.

This 90% figure is a key insight as companies decide whether to develop mobile apps or restrict themselves to mobile optimised sites.  You do have to be careful about interpreting this since, as the chart below shows, Facebook, messaging, games and utility apps will naturally have the greatest time spent and browser use is still significant by volume if not proportion. But this has implications for advertising on mobile to reach consumers using apps like Facebook and Gmail.

Q6. Mobile Ad Spend still lags behind Mobile Media Consumption

So, how have advertisers responded to the change in mobile media time? The next chart shows that despite the growth in media time above, some advertisers are missing out since the right-most bar shows that there is a huge missing opportunity on mobile advertising

internet trends

This research sourced from a 2015 study by eMarketer into mobile ad budgets shows a different view. In 2015 mobile ad spending accounts for 49% of digital ad spending, which is only slightly behind the trends of how people are using their devices. These stats also show projections for future growth, which is important as it shows where the market is going. It is clear that mobile is the future, and within 3 years it will come to dominate digital ad spending.

Mobile Ad spending- Billions $28.740.549.857.765.8
Percentage change50%41%23% 16%14%
Percentage of digital ad spending49%60.4%66.6%69.7%72.2%

Q2. How consumers research products using mobile search and review sites

Google's mobile path to purchase report surveyed 950 US consumers across 9 different verticals (Restaurants, Food & Cooking, Finance, Travel, Home & Garden, Apparel & Beauty, Automotive, Electronics, Health & Nutrition) to assess how they researched purchases via mobile. A key finding is the starting point for mobile research. As might be expected search was the most common starting point, but it's lower than desktop showing the importance of branded apps and mobile sites.

Mobile commerce statistics 2014 research

The 5 best sources for mobile marketing statistics?

This update to this post features some of the latest updates on mobile statistics from 2014 and highlight some of the best sources to make the business case for investment in mobile marketing in your presentations and business cases to colleagues or clients.

  • 1. Google Mobile Planet. A regular survey for different countries starting in 2011, this enabled you to prepare your own reports. Now this has been replaced by Google's Consumer barometer which enables you to create similar reports.

In addition to downloads for each country, you can also create your own charts focusing on KPIs of interest. For example, if you're based in Australia you can look at usage by demographic.

The weakness of the current data is that it focuses on Smartphones, not tablets. It may be useful for pushing back against over-enthusiastic colleagues or understanding consumer barriers. For example, less than a third of Australians have ever bought on a smartphone and you can see there are barriers of security and preference for desktop purchases.

  • 2. ITU. The International Telecoms Union data reports mobile usage including mobile broadband subscriptions to show growth in use of mobile. This reported at country, continent and overall levels, so is the best overall source for mobile penetration worldwide. Much of the information is free - see their free mobile statistics section.

  • 3. Flurry Mobile Analytics. This is a great source for showing the overall level of app usage across the four major mobile app platforms by country and drilling down into the popularity of individual apps for different sectors like retail, banking and travel. For example, the latest mobile app growth figures from Flurry show growth of category use by more than 50% in many categories.

Growth in mobile app usage


Comscore is one of the key worldwide sources useful for marketers to help us find out about the changes in use of mobile media by consumers. This graph shows the pattern across Europe - follow the link above for US and other country breakdowns.

The report shows much lower levels of adoption in other European countries though - not even a fifth in most. So extrapolating UK behaviour to other countries would seem to be a mistake with the mobile figure still key.

The report also has useful summary of dayparts of different device behaviour, similar to others published.

Retail mobile use

Mobile was again the focus of the section on retail statistics. Audience growth rate is 80% + on mobile in these UK sites, but lower on grocer sites for obvious reasons.

  • 5. Ofcom Internet usage report. Ofcom’s Eighth International Communications Market Report was published in December 2014, this examines take-up, availability, price and use of broadband, landlines, mobiles, TV, radio and post across 17 major countries. As example, here's the picture of desktop vs mobile device in the UK showing that when you look at most important device, desktop and laptop remain important.

We hope this compilation of statistics about mobile usage and effectiveness continues to be useful - please share if it is and we'll continue to update it in 2015.

If you want a single source of the latest stats across the whole of digital marketing, for Expert members, we compile a regularly updated set of usage statistics to use in presentations - it's updated each quarter so all the latest stats are categorised in a single place for including in presentations.

  • Foysal commented on December 10, 2013
  • Wow, this is really informative. I would also like to share some useful slides on mobile user stats:

  • Joanna commented on October 12, 2013

    I need the exact answer for Future of Mobile applications when their usability is concerned. Can anybody help me out with statistics also?
    No comments or explanations ofor’future of mobile appls development’.

  • As per the market scenario, most of the companies realize that in order to survive in this cutthroat competition and capture market they have gone for something through which they interact with their consumers and make them brand loyal.
    Thus the best option is to make an app or make a website which is mobile friendly, therefore it is useful for both the sellers and the buyers or the consumers. May be this can be the other aspect through which many eCommerce companies are switching towards mobile app development.

  • Adam commented on October 4, 2013

    E-commerce should learn the data and see how their mobile marketing campaign can be improved. By knowing what they are targeting and how mobile marketing works, they can allocate their marketing budget better and also reach more potential audience.

    Adam – Impatto

  • Good Stats ! Mobile marketing is becoming a vital component of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

  • Entreb commented on September 18, 2013

    Very interesting statistics. Mobile marketing will surely continue to grow. We are not yet on the boom. This is just the start.

  • Town Tawks commented on September 14, 2013

    Extremely insightful. Mobile Commerce & Marketing is the next big Thing Internet Landscape has yet to see. Here is another extensive and visually lush infographic about the growth of Internet, Social Media & Mobile Usage in the last decade. Sure to broaden your insight too!

  • This is actually a great post, very useful stats. It’s very interesting the fact that mobile internet users will take over desktop internet users by 2014

  • Ivor Fernandes commented on September 8, 2013

    Can I use some of your graphics on my sites? Let me know.

  • Ivor Fernandes commented on September 8, 2013

    Great site for mobile marketing stats. I will use your site to get clients for my mobile marketing business.

  • Rahman.Ramesh commented on August 31, 2013

    Great content! Thanks a million for sharing!

  • Intuitforce commented on August 27, 2013

    Mobile marketing strategy are really belong to the responsive design of the website. For the future growth every webmaster need to work on responsive design.

  • TravelBoardingPass commented on August 26, 2013

    Excellent data and infographics. We wish to see more from travel sector and particularly the trend in % of browsers/travlers who carry their travel boarding pass on mobile for scanning at the check-in counters, instead of getting a print.

  • thank you, very interesting report!

  • KatoidaDoo commented on August 19, 2013

    very interesting article, thank you! Mobile marketing solutions – Slovenia

  • mobilewebsitedesignwiltshire commented on August 10, 2013

    You really deserve a big thank you for this hard work. Not long to go when mobile website will take over normal desktop web.

  • Pedro Correia commented on August 1, 2013

    AWESOME! Thank you! I´ve been looking for credible sources for 3 days now. I need to understand the habit´s of smartphone consumers so I can do a market analysis. The sources this articles provides are perfect for me! TKS!

  • Jewel commented on July 17, 2013

    WoW ! Very useful info provided here. I found it very helpful for my biz indeed. Regards,

  • shiva commented on July 17, 2013

    Informative , very user friendly.

  • Leanne Alder commented on July 17, 2013

    Thanks I have now downloaded the spreadsheet:)

  • Leanne Alder commented on July 15, 2013

    Great post! Do you know how we are tracking in terms of MOBILE internet usage as a % of total internet usage now? It mentioned that mobile internet usage would surpass PC by 2014 so…I’m wondering how we are tracking in that regard.

  • So-and-so commented on July 10, 2013

    This page does not format to my iPhone nor are the links clickable in the last infographics. Thanks.

  • With the mobile smart phone customers almost increasing since last season, no wonder why the requirement for cellular gambling houses have increased the last few decades.

  • great stuff!

  • Asif commented on May 30, 2013

    Hi Danyl,
    Thanks for this really informative post. Would you have any data on how a country like India is faring on the mobile apps front?

  • emarketing . commented on May 29, 2013

    Awesome Post! Just loved the info graphics that you shared!

  • Steve Hall commented on May 26, 2013

    Excellent resource.. Thank you..

  • Leo commented on May 14, 2013

    Does anyone have any stats showing the average difference between smartphone (mobile) conversion rate and tablet conversion rate? Tks !

  • Nice post. I think a few credits may be on your way – great reference.

  • ivoriswinning commented on April 8, 2013

    Yes, mobile marketing is the next best thing to sliced bread. I think this year is the year to make it in this business. I like you site. You have a lot of information. This is what I created. . Some platform providers are using geo targeting with opt-ins. This is getting customers ready to purchase when they are close to the business. Unlike like e-mail. The open rates are 97% in about 5 minutes. Even if you don’t know who text you. No form of direct marketing is this good. Where is your mobile device? Do you leave home without it? Your mobile is like your wallet and your house keys. You take it everywhere and even to bed,…just in case she/he calls. The mobile evolution is here now!

  • These are some great stats. Is it ok to write some articles using these statistics? Just wondering as that would be a great addition to my services site. Thanks for some great stuff that will make any new potential clients make a more informed decision on whether they need mobile in their marketing efforts. (We already know they do) Thanks a lot. I’ll be coming back often to learn and get some great facts.
    Morris (Murph) Murphy

  • Debra J commented on March 6, 2013

    Great Reading GREAT facts……..Love it
    Debra J

  • Mogreet commented on March 5, 2013

    Fantastic post – thank you so much! – Serena from Mogreet

  • Awesome post… what a great collection of mobile stats and infographics. Thank you!

  • I pin all the pics .. because all are great in terms of information .. Mobile marketing is FUTURE MARKETING … in up coming years all businesses need to migrate to smart phones marketing .. Its not my analysis its future ..

  • Taha Sayed commented on February 17, 2013

    TANTALIZING POST! I recently published an article on why Small businesses need to be ready to go Mobile with the use of Social Media and the statistics that prove its impossible to ignore!
    However this post demonstrates, particularly with Mobile marketing that passionate small businesses can’t miss out!
    Will be posting an article and crediting the information back here and the original sources. Great work!

  • great post. naturally mobile browsing outlook is high and rising; don’t really foresee it slowing down soon. by large we like our gadgets. we like convenience, efficiency, and saving time; performing tasks faster with less effort. seeing a lot of content lately on shopping, online retail; always a reference to the big bad river (clearing of the throat) with falling profits yet deep in the rainforest money doth flow. thus, amazon killing it thanks to things like e-books which (per Bezos) “are now a multi billion dollar category” for them. Hence, a no-brainer for consumers; why would i attempt a visit to the local big box c̶e̶s̶s̶p̶o̶o̶l̶ retail like wal-mart if i can wait a day for home delivery? swipe-tap-tap done. having said that, businesses who don’t get on track soon will meet a down hill fate. sooner or later. and, in my humble opinion, both mobile and tablets will continue to rise, a sign of the times, yet I feel mobile will especially thrive, being used by the majority while at work and school. these users are more than likely not going to bust out a tablet and fire it up while on the clock or in class. yet we all know they’re facebooking, tweeting, looking up movie times, etc anyway. smaller, a mobile is easier to manage and conceal in that aspect. pushing the envelope a tad further, and for the record i don’t support this, people who multi task while driving are going to keep using their mobile device for things like this as well. how many times have you seen someone using their ipad at a red light? don’t answer that. 😉 -j

  • Nick Sharpe commented on January 29, 2013

    a quick look at my Google analytics shows a definite uptick in mobile usage, especially for my keywords ‘web design”. the infographic helps me explain to my clients why a responsive website is no longer just “an option”. thx

  • Daniel Howard commented on January 29, 2013

    Yeah, really good post, very helpful thank you. I was surprised by the stat that indicated an 8% preference for shopping through apps (smartphone + tablet) compared to 14% for mobile websites. Do you think that could be a reflection of the disparity between the number of ecommerce mobile websites compared to fully transactional retail apps?

    • Thanks Daniel, good to hear.

      I think thats a fair assessment, it may also be because of failure to update and create stable Apps. I’m reviewing comments for a number of retail apps as part of updating our 7 Steps to mobile guide and finding that many apps suffer from poor ratings because updates simply don’t work.

  • SueStat commented on January 17, 2013

    Fantastic compilation of information. Do you have any data that shows how much more likely someone is to make a purchase while browsing/shopping on their phone vs browsing/shopping on their desktop?

  • Thanks again for great article, nice to notice Africa is getting mentioned in a percentage. Education – never enough.

    • Thanks for your comment Joan – we try to make sure we don’t just report on UK/US since we know we have a global audience.
      ITU is excellent since it has every country.

      All the best for 2013!


  • jamil commented on January 2, 2013

    Suprb…..great work mr.
    Your graphically work verry help ful for me…thank you danyl Bosomworth..

  • Chan commented on November 20, 2012

    Very nice report…Try AdIQuity mobile…decent enough

  • Thanks for compiling this. Great content.

  • TJ Loftus commented on October 6, 2012

    Best infographic on why to go Mobile and make sure you have a mobile friendly website I have seen so far.

  • Tahmid commented on September 28, 2012

    Very nice info-graph with clear information. Yes I am also mobile marketer and agree with you. My earning increase 60% last years!!! Just mobile marketing but when I started some people laughed at me!

  • Mathew commented on September 4, 2012

    Nice informative Post

  • Great info graphics…I would suggest setting up “pin it” buttons so people can easily share. Just a thought 🙂

  • Try AppCrazi Social,

    Great Post!

  • Shaan commented on July 13, 2012

    awesome post. Extremely informative. I’m just writing an ebook about Mobile Apps, so this was a very great find. Thank you very much.

  • This is really useful information, thanks for sharing it. Not quite the same thing, but in case you’re interested, I gathered data for Facebook mobile usage in a defined geographic area (within 25 miles of Winchester, UK), and blogged about it:

    • And thank you for sharing Mark – that’s quite an analysis in your blog.
      Really shows the rich data available in Facebook’s ad targeting tool – I never realised it contained mobile info too.
      Your data looks at single area (close to home for me since I was born in Fareham). How do you think this data on mobile might be applied by marketers more widely to inform decisions. I was trying to think this through, but no real thoughts.

  • Bryan commented on July 5, 2012

    can someone explain to me why the “preferred shopping methods” stats add up to 196%? I was going to use this data for some presentations before realizing that it doesn’t add up to 100%…therefore I have no idea what they are actually measuring. Were people allows to pick more than one response?

    • Dave Chaffey commented on July 6, 2012

      Well spotted Bryan, they should have that in their caption. Maybe it was a pick top two type question. All I can think.

  • Leanne Peard commented on July 4, 2012

    Fantastic Stats thanks 🙂 cheers Leanne

  • Lois commented on July 2, 2012

    There are some really interesting facts and figures here, Thanks!
    You may find interesting. They also have some good figures on mobile stats.

  • DigVertising Marketing commented on May 10, 2012

    Thanks for the post very interesting

  • Arnab commented on May 9, 2012

    Great Post.. Super-like..On these Digital Marketing Age. Mobile Marketing Strategy and planning is very essential for a business to grow.

  • Chris Rodbourne commented on February 17, 2012

    Great infographic and source of stats, thank you

  • Diana commented on February 6, 2012

    Brilliant stats thank you so much

  • I compiled a complete list of mobile email statistics:

    If you are looking to get the inside stats on mobile email, have a look.

  • Tim Watson commented on April 19, 2011

    Nice round up of infographics regarding mobile use. I didn’t see them in time to use any in a webinar on mobile I ran last week. Posted a summary of the webinar here which includes info on how to make email work well for mobile.

  • Danyl,

    Thanks for posting the infographic if you ever want to talk shop I’d love to chat. We also just released a new infographic for our most recent momentum numbers for Tag. Thought you might find it interesting Our team also ran across this inforgraphic from Pamorama has some interesting insights looking at social, mobile and email. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this one.

    Thanks Again,


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