Mobile marketing has evolved to become an integral part of our digital lifestyle. Smartphones are now used by two-thirds of the US population, and they are increasingly being used for email and social media, photos, navigation, financial transactions, ordering meals, entertainment, and more.
Mobile’s growth over the past few years has been well documented, and it continues to cross major milestones that illustrate its immense popularity. In 2015, app usage surpassed desktop usage to account for half of all US digital media consumption. In March 2016, the number of mobile-only adult internet users exceeded the number of desktop-only internet users for the first time. This milestone shows just how far mobile has come in overtaking desktop’s longstanding dominance as the primary gateway to the internet.
Just a year ago, desktop-only internet users accounted for 19.1 percent of all users, while mobile-only users comprised 10.8 percent of the total. This year, the share of mobile-only users has climbed to 11.3 percent, while the desktop-only population has drastically declined to just 10.6 percent. Of course, these numbers also tell us that the vast majority of the digital population is multi-platform and goes online using desktop as well as mobile platforms. Even then, this mobile-only milestone is meaningful because it signifies how smartphones and tablets (particularly the former) are becoming—or rather, have already become—our primary access point to the internet.
There’s no doubt that desktop computers are highly practical and efficient when it comes to accomplishing complex and information-heavy tasks, which makes them crucial for workforce productivity. They still play an important role in our digital lives, and won’t be phased out anytime soon. Let’s not overlook the fact that consumers still prefer desktops when shopping online, with 87 percent of total digital commerce coming from the platform, despite mobile accounting for 60 percent of total time spent shopping online.
All signs indicate that the desktop computer is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and that mobile usage will continue to grow. With more mobile-only internet users than desktop-only users today, it’s safe to assume that digital marketing will continue to evolve towards a “mobile first” approach.