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Desktop vs Mobile web use [#ChartoftheDay]

By Dave Chaffey 26 Oct, 2016
Essential

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.

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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