Desktop vs Mobile web use [#ChartoftheDay]

How the the Multichannel Majority varies between different sectors

Our mobile marketing statistics summary shows how mobile use has increased such that it now exceeds desktop use in many categories. Following the lead of Google and others, you now often hear marketers and designers talking about adopting a Mobile-first design approach when upgrading their websites. Many responsive designs are led by the mobile experience. This often leads to a simplified design approach which is positive for users and conversion. I was recently working on  a consulting project in the insurance sector and it was interesting to see how insurance comparison sites like Money Supermarket, Confused.com and the AA have all adopted a mobile-first design philosophy with simplified designs and reduced copy.

While this is positive, I've chosen today's Chart of the Day to show that it is an over-simplification. 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. 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.

The chart from audience measurement platform comScore shows that in many sectors like banking, entertainment and retail there is a multichannel majority who use both desktop and mobile so designs should cater for both.

Multichannel Majority Desktop-vs-mobile use

So we need to think about strategies to engage the Multichannel Majority not simply a 'Mobile first' approach.  Adaptive design approaches where desktop and tablet users get a different experience consistent with their context, intent and larger real estate are a technique that can be used to help with multichannel behaviour. 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.



Share your thoughts

  • Akwesi Assensoh-Kodua commented on January 26, 2017

    Good information. First for the business world, and then for the research community. But the big question is: Can we prove that these multichannel strategies yield significantly different results in sale? How can we know from a study, the type of particular channel (Mobile or desktop) that was used by the respondents? Thanks Dave.

  • Sean commented on January 18, 2017

    Preaching the importance of websites that are mobile responsive has become a type of daily occurrence in my life. Recently, I have been focusing mainly on web design in Colorado Springs, which is a competitive market. I often reference a few of the graphs on Smartinsights as a reference when breaking down the numbers. The need is real, so the sales is easy.

    Thanks Dave!

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